3 poll bills land in House panelThe Legislature-Parliament on Sunday forwarded three election-related bills to its State Affairs Committee for clause-wise discussion before endorsement.
The Legislature-Parliament on Sunday forwarded three election-related bills to its State Affairs Committee for clause-wise discussion before endorsement.
Forwarding the bills, Speaker Onasari Gharti asked the committee to prioritise them and discuss all the clauses as demanded by lawmakers from various parties.
A total of 67 amendments have been registered to the bills that got into a controversy after the Election Commission (EC) expressed its serious reservations over the government’s decision to revise some of the “crucial provisions” of the bills before tabling them in the House.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Law and Justice had changed several clauses concerning the EC, voters’ list and political parties from the bills drafted by the commission.
The EC was mainly concerned over the decision of the ministries to withdraw the provisions that authorised it to announce the election date and set a vote threshold for the parties.
The commission had also objected to the government move of withdrawing a clause that called for de-registering the parties if they fail to submit their annual audit reports within a year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi had, on October 5, tabled the Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws related to the Election Commission, Bill Related to Voters’ List and Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to Political Parties.
The amendment registered by a group of MPs led by UML lawmaker Rajendra Pandey demanded recognition for a party securing at least three percent votes and authority for the EC to announce the election date. The party also demanded at least 10,000 signatures to register a new party, a provision that existed earlier. The commission in the new draft had decided to decrease the number to 500.
In a separate amendment proposal, the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) has demanded funds for the parties securing 1.5 percent of the total votes cast. The EC in the draft bill had proposed funding for the parties meeting the threshold on the basis of the number of votes they secure.
The EC over a month ago finalised five essential bills of the Local Election Procedure Act, Political Parties-related Act, Election Commission Act, Election (Offence and Punishment) Act and Act on Voter List and submitted them to the government for necessary paperwork before tabling them in Parliament.
However, the government has tabled only three
bills while it has revised the two others.