New government expected in 2 weeksElection Commission plans to submit the election report to President Bidya Devi Bhandari early next week.
As the final results of the November 20 elections are expected this week, the Election Commission hopes to submit the results to the President early next week, opening the doors for the formation of a new federal government.
Earlier the commission had claimed the results would be out in two weeks from the vote and they would be presented to the President by December 8. However, the results were delayed due to disputes during the counting process and re-polling held in many places after allegations of ballot stuffing. Two weeks since the election, vote counting continues in Dolakha, Syangja and Bajura.
Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Thapaliya said they are expecting the completion of the vote count within a couple of days. “Yes, we won’t be able to meet the earlier deadline, because it took us some time to resolve the problems in a few districts. Still, we expect the vote count to be completed within the next two days,” Thapaliya told the Post.
He said the commission would finalise the seat allocation to each party under the proportional representation system, shortly after the vote count is completed. “By Thursday, we will write to the parties to name their lawmakers under the proportional representation category giving them three days,” said Thapaliya. “We will submit the final results to the President, once the parties send us the names.”
Once the vote counting is completed, the commission will fill the 110-seats under the proportional representation category with the candidates of the parties that cross the three percent threshold. As of Sunday evening, seven parties—the CPN-UML, the Nepali Congress, the CPN (Maoist Centre), the Rastriya Swatantra Party, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the Janata Samajbadi Party and the Janamat Party—have crossed the threshold.
The commission uses the Sainte-Lague formula to allocate the seats under the PR system. As per the formula, each party’s votes are divided by a sequence of odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and so on) until enough quotients are found to allocate all 110 seats of the House.
Thapaliya said they are working on a plan to submit the election report to President Bidya Devi Bhandari, on December 12. “However, it could be delayed by a day or two at maximum if some problems emerged.”
Aides to the President said they have heard informally that the commission will submit the results on December 12. Two days after receiving the report, President Bhandari will invite parties to form a government. The President generally gives parties 24 hours to come up with a proposal.
Tika Dhakal, a media advisor to the President, said if the commission submits its report on December 12, the call will be made on December 14. “The President normally takes two days to study the election results and then asks parties to form a government,” Dhakal told the Post.
In the previous polls, the commission took around three months to present the election report to the President. Though the elections were completed on December 7, 2017, the commission submitted the report only on February 14, 2018. CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli became the prime minister the very next day.
“The President will invite the parties as per Article 75 (2) of the constitution since no party commands a majority in the House,” said Dhakal. As per the Article, the President appoints a member of the House of Representatives who is able to cobble a majority with the backing of other parties as prime minister.
“The country can get a government by mid-December, if the election results are submitted by December 12,” said Dhakal. “However, it will depend on when the commission submits the report.”