It is still not sure whether there will be local elections in May. But if that happens, it might not just be the first local polls in 20 years but also be the first opportunity to introduce electronic voting across the country. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal visited the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday and learnt about the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in upcoming elections (pic, above). “Local polls are possible in May,” he said, “and Nepalis have already become smart enough to vote electronically. If they can use mobile phones in rural villages, why can they not use voting machines?” The EC has approached Smartmatic, a UK-based company, to buy EVMs. On Tuesday, a representative of Smartmatic showed PM Dahal how its voting machines can be used.
Articles about voting issues in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.
The government has decided to officially communicate to the Election Commission to make necessary preparations for conducting local bodies’ elections in the third or fourth week of May. A Cabinet meeting held this evening took a decision to formally write tomorrow to the Election Commission to do the groundwork for conducting elections for village councils and municipalities between May 14 and 24, according to Cabinet Spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Karki. “With this decision, uncertainty about elections has been put to rest,” Karki added.
Nepali Congress leaders have mounted pressure on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to announce local polls so that it will have a chance to lead the government after the local polls as per the gentlemen’s agreement. Senior NC leader Gopal Man Shrestha said that his party had been asking the government to announce election schedules immediately as per the recent understandingbetween the three big parties — the NC, the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre. “We want elections to be held immediately to implement and save the constitution,” he added. NC leaders claim that there was a gentlemen’s agreement between the NC and the CPN-Maoist Centre that the CPN-MC would lead the government till the local elections and the NC would take the mantle of the government after the local polls.
The Legislature-Parliament on Wednesday endorsed two poll-related bills, paving the way for the government to announce the dates for local elections. The Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to the Election Commission and the Bill Related to Voters’ List, which have been endorsed by the House, will come into effect once they are authenticated by the President. Out of nine Acts required to hold three levels of elections—local, provincial and central—-and conduct the elections of president and vice president, three are still under consideration at parliamentary committee. The Ministry of Home Affairs is working on four other bills. However, five Acts—two are set to come into force with their endorsement on Wednesday and three other bills that are under consideration—will be enough to hold local level elections. The government is planning to hold local level elections by mid-May and plans to announce the dates by January 28.
The Parliament on Wednesday endorsed the Voters’ List Bill and the Election Commission Bill unanimously. With the endorsement, the House prepared a legal foundation to hold elections as per the new Constitution. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs had tabled proposals to endorse the bills. The State Affairs Committee of the Parliament had forwarded the draft laws to the full House on Monday.
The State Affairs Sub-Committee (SASC) under the Legislature-Parliament on Monday suggested that the government announce the election date in consultation with the Election Commission (EC) A meeting of the Sub-Committee held in Singha Durbar today has tweaked the election-related bills making it mandatory for the political parties and election candidates to submit the expenditure details spent in the course of election. According to the changes made by the Sub-Committee in the Bill, Clause (2) of the revised Bill Designed to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to the Works, Duties and Responsibilities of the Election Commission-2016, the political parties and election candidates cannot spend more than Rs 500,000 as election expenditure during the elections.
Nepal: Printing ballot papers for local elections may take two months: Election Commission | My Republica
The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday said that it might take at least two months to print the ballot papers for the local elections if additional printing machines are not arranged for Janak Sikshya Samagri Kendra (JSSK). After holding consultations with the officials of JSSK and Education Secretary Shanta Kumar Shrestha, is also the chairperson of JSSK, the Election Commission has reached to the conclusion that printing of ballot papers will not get accomplished in less than two months. It has also stressed the need of seeking alternatives for printing the ballot papers in time. “Printing ballot papers will not be easy unless we purchase new machines or seek alternatives to expedite the ballot printing process,” said Election Commissioner Ila Sharma.
Nepal’s prime minister is prepared to face a no-confidence motion in parliament after former Maoist rebels who had backed his coalition withdrew their support but he sees no need to step down, an aide said. The impoverished Himalayan country has been plagued by political turmoil for years and the bid by the Maoists to unseat Prime Minister K.P. Oli and form a new government has ushered in another phase of uncertainty. Oli, who came to power in October when the Maoists offered his party parliamentary backing to build a coalition, faces the prospect of a no-confidence vote if he cannot persuade other parties to stick with him. The main Maoist party accuses Oli of reneging on past promises and is expected to move formally lodge a motion of no-confidence in the prime minister on Wednesday.
After nearly a decade of delay marked by haggling and political infighting, Nepal formally adopted a constitution on Sunday, with President Ram Baran Yadav calling the moment a realization of “the continuous democratic movements initiated by Nepalese people” after he signed the document. Yet the process that led to the adoption of the Constitution, intended to bring much needed unity to the impoverished, fractious Himalayan nation, proved divisive and was attended by paralyzing strikes and violence that led to more than 40 deaths. The Constitution aims to reinforce Nepal as a secular, democratic republic with a provision for the protection of religion, and establishes seven provinces. Its passage is the latest chapter in a turbulent history that includes a bloody civil war, the overthrow of the 239-year-old monarchy and a devastating earthquake in April that killed thousands and left thousands more homeless.
The CPN-UML faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal has rejected the party’s decision to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the Central Committee (CC) election. The Nepal faction has expressed a serious reservation over the effort of the organising committee of the ongoing ninth UML National Congress to use the EVMs for election. Organising a separate press meet on Saturday, UML politburo member, Raghuji Pant, said that a large section of the party representatives are skeptical about the use of EVMs, and demanded the use of paper ballot for the election.