Upper house vote on Feb 7Election for the National Assembly will be held on February 7, a day earlier than the date suggested by the Election Commission, the government decided on Friday.
Election for the National Assembly will be held on February 7, a day earlier than the date suggested by the Election Commission, the government decided on Friday.
According to the ordinance on upper house election, the government fixes the date in consultation with the poll authority.
“The Cabinet fixed the date in line with suggestions from the EC,” said Minister for Commerce Min Bahadur Bishwokarma.
During a meeting between Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav on Tuesday, the EC had suggested holding the polls on February 8.
The poll body has said that the upper house elections will pave the way for it to announce the results of the proportional representation (PR) category of the House of Representatives elections.
The new government can be formed only after the lower house takes its complete shape. After the EC formally reiterated on Wednesday that it cannot announce the PR results before the National Assembly elections, the left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) had demanded an early date for the vote. Earlier, the two communist parties had pressed the EC to allot the PR seats on the House of Representatives to the parties at the earliest.
The schedule displeases the UML. “The government set the election date in a way to prolong its tenure. In our assessment, the polls could be held much earlier,” said UML Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal. He, however, said his party was ready to contest the elections.
The Nepali Congress argues that the government should give the EC enough time for the preparations. “We should create an environment conducive for the EC to holding the elections,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha.
The Assembly will have 59 members, with 56 representatives—eight from each province—elected by an electoral college comprising provincial assembly members and chiefs and deputy chiefs of municipalities and rural municipalities. The three other members are nominated by the President on the government’s recommendation.
There will a total of 2,056 voters—550 provincial assembly members and 1,506 chiefs and deputy chiefs of the local governments. A vote cast by a provincial assembly member is counted 48 while it is only 18 in the case of chiefs and deputy chiefs of the local level.
Province 2 has the highest number of voters. With 272 voters from the local level and 107 from the assembly, the province has the highest value in National Assembly election. Its weight is 10,032, followed by 9,564 of Province 3.