In a landmark judgement, Nepal’s Supreme Court has given voters the right to cast negative votes during the parliamentary or local elections. The court in the verdict yesterday also directed the government and the Election Commission to introduce laws to this effect so the voters can reject candidates, weeks after India introduced “None of the above” option. A joint bench of justices Kalyan Shrestha and Prakash Wasti issued the order responding to a writ petition filed by two advocates. With this decision, the ballot papers in coming elections will now have a separate option “none of the above” to allow voters to cast negative votes. The court in its order has asked the Prime Minister’s Office, Election Commission and the Ministry of Law Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs (MoLJPA) to ensure negative voting provision in the electoral process.
Articles about voting issues in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.
Nepal: Nepal Maoist probe panel blames electoral body, national army for election fraud | Global Post
The UCPN(Maoist), the third largest party in the new Constituent Assembly(CA) has blamed Election Commission and Nepal Army(NA) for engineering a poll- rigging on Nov. 19 Constituent Assembly(CA). An intra-party panel formed by the party to investigate the alleged irregularities blamed the two state institutions for the defeat of the party. The party, which launched 10-year-long insurgency in 2006 and became the largest party in 2008 CA election, suffered a humiliating loss in Nov. 19 elections, securing only 80 seats in 601-member CA body which is expected to draft a new constitution.
As per an internal committee formed by the Unified Maoists to investigate presumed election wrongdoings, the party has concluded that the election was rigged in an institutionalized manner and the investigation further reveals that the election commission and security agencies were directly involved in the vote fraud. Now the fun will perhaps begin. The committee led by party leader Barsaman Pun ‘Ananta’ in his findings claims, “The vote fraud was carried out institutionally and at the policy and organizational level.” The committee member Ram Chandra Jha said, “The investigation has revealed that including the Election commission, the security agencies were also involved.”
Results for Nepal’s national elections show its Maoist party has plummeted in popularity, coming in a distant third and suggesting the former rebels’ influence has diminished in the South Asian nation. The centrist Nepali Congress, one of the country’s oldest political parties, won 2.4 million proportional votes, followed by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), which won 2.2 million votes, the Election Commission said Thursday. The main Maoist party, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), won 1.4 million votes. Exactly how the proportional vote, in which voters pick parties rather than candidates, will translate into seats in the new constituent assembly was expected to be announced by Sunday. Thursday’s count mirrored the results earlier this week of the direct voting, in which voters choose candidates rather than parties, announced earlier in the week. The candidates for the Maoist party—led by the revolutionary leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal —secured only 26 of the 240 seats.
Nepal’s dominant Communist party was routed, the country’s politics swung sharply to the right, and India’s influence in Nepal is likely to soar after the first set of results from last week’s election were finalized Monday. The Nepali Congress, the country’s oldest political party and one that favors close ties with India, won 105 of the 240 directly elected seats. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) came in second with 91 seats. Despite their party’s name, the Marxist-Leninists are considered centrists in Nepal. The majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly will be determined by proportional votes, and in those preliminary returns the Nepali Congress is again first followed by the Marxist-Leninists, according to the Election Commission of Nepal. Together, the two parties will likely dominate the new Constituent Assembly. Since a two-thirds majority in the Constituent Assembly is required for a constitution to be adopted, however, the Maoists may still play a critical albeit reduced role. The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) secured only 26 seats in the direct election, a small fraction of the total it earned in the 2008 elections.
In the face of an apparent electoral drubbing, the leader of Nepal’s largest Maoist party demanded a halt to the nation’s vote counting on Thursday because of what he called widespread vote fraud. “Serious national and international forces are behind this, and we demand a suspension to vote counting,” said the Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the head of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Mr. Dahal said that election workers had smashed ballot boxes and accepted false ballots. He called for an independent investigation and warned that his party might rejoin hard-line Maoists and refuse to participate in the Constituent Assembly if his demands were not met. “We will not join” the assembly, he declared, as Maoist party members marched outside the party’s headquarters, shouting, “We are ready to fight!”
Officials began counting votes on Wednesday that were cast during election for a new constituent assembly to draw up a long-delayed constitution and pick a new Nepal government. Election Commission official Bir Bahadur Rai said the counting started in several districts and that boxes filled with ballot papers had reached counting centers in at least 20 districts. In the capital, Katmandu, election officials opened ballot boxes collected from all 10 constituencies at the International Convention Center and began counting the thousands of ballot papers. Mr. Rai said arrangements were being made to fly ballot boxes from some mountain areas by helicopter because snow had blocked roads. Nepal has 75 districts of which most of them are mountainous. More than 70% of the 12 million eligible voters cast their votes during Tuesday’s election in Nepal to choose the 601-member Constituent Assembly that would double as the parliament. First results are expected by late Wednesday and final results are going to take at least a week.
Millions of Nepalis have defied low expectations and threats of violence to vote in elections seen as crucial in breaking its political deadlock seven years after a civil war ended. A bombing in the capital Kathmandu early on Tuesday injured three children, but the explosion and a campaign of intimidation by a hardline Maoist splinter group did not prevent turnout reaching at least 65 per cent. At this level it would be higher than the 63.29 per cent turnout recorded during the country’s first post-war elections in 2008, when it voted for a constituent assembly tasked with writing a new constitution. Since then, five prime ministers have served brief terms, the country had no leader for long periods, and the 601-member assembly collapsed in May 2012 after failing to complete the peace process. ’My vote is for the future of youngsters and the new generations,’ 101-year-old voter Lal Bahadur Rai said in a phone interview from a polling station in northeastern Sankhuwasabha district. Hopes of political unity to complete the peace process were dashed when a 33-party alliance, led by the splinter Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), announced that it would boycott polls and intimidate voters.
Nepal: Maoist party demands stop in vote counting after trailing behind rival parties | The Washington Post
The leader of Nepal’s Maoist party, who appears to have lost in this week’s national election, demanded Thursday that the vote counting be stopped because of what he called massive irregularities. The irregularities occurred during transporting of ballot boxes and also during the counting, said Pushpa Kamal Dahal, leader of the United Communist Party of Nepal Maoists. “We are demanding an immediate stop to the vote counting and an independent probe into the allegations,” Dahal said, adding his party could boycott the Constituent Assembly if its demands are not addressed. He said the party has reports of ballots boxes being hidden for hours, and of ballot boxes being switched while being transported to counting centers, and that several boxes had gone missing.
Polling stations in Nepal opened early Tuesday for elections that will be crucial in completing a peace process stalled for several years since the end of a decade-long civil war. “Voting has begun all over the country,” Bir Bahadur Rai, a spokesman for the election commission, told AFP. The vote is only the second since a civil war launched by Maoist rebels concluded in 2006, ending royal rule and transforming the Himalayan nation into a secular republic. Voters lined up outside polling stations nearly an hour before the polls opened on a foggy day in the capital, AFP reporters said, despite fears that many might stay home after recent violence by anti-election hardliners. Nepalis flocked to the ballot box in the first constituent assembly elections in 2008 and delivered an overwhelming victory to the Maoist party, but have since grown frustrated following years of political infighting.