Election Commission opposes plan to extend House termElection code of conduct says terms of members of lower house and provincial assembly will lose their positions after filing nominations for elections.
The Election Commission has objected to a government plan to amend the laws to extend the terms of the House of Representatives and the provincial assemblies until the first meetings of the federal houses of parliament and provincial assemblies to be elected from the November 20 polls.
The government on Sunday tabled a bill to amend the House of Representatives Act and Provincial Assemblies Act, through some Nepal Act amendment bill, with the provisions that the lower house and the provincial assemblies will be deemed to have automatically ended from the day the new elected House and the provincial assemblies hold their first meetings.
“As the Constitution of Nepal clearly says the Speaker and deputy Speaker shall continue in office until the date of the filing of nominations for elections, it doesn’t seem appropriate to continue the terms of other members contesting for the same positions even after their nominations,” reads a statement issued by the commission. Stating that the term of the Legislature-Parliament in 2017 ended a day before the submission of the closed lists of candidates under the proportional representation system, the commission has said continuation of the terms of the House and assemblies until the first meeting of those elected from the upcoming elections will create a hurdle in implementing the election code of conduct.
The commission’s election code of conduct for the upcoming elections says the position of the members of the lower house and provincial assemblies will continue until their nominations.
Though the constitution says the term of the House would be five years, it doesn't say which date to take as the beginning of its term.
In the lack of legal clarity, the commission had decided to take December 8 (2017), when at least the first winners of both federal and provincial elections under the first-past-the-post category were announced, as the date of commencement of tenure. Through the statement the commission has also urged the government to consult it before preparing or amending any election-related laws.
The bill is under consideration in the lower house.