Nepal amends ‘Local Level Election Act’ to ensure ethnic minorities’ participation

Kathmandu : The parliamentary meeting of Thursday endorsed the first amendment bill of the Local Level Elections Act in Nepal, thus, paving way for the participation of the ethnic minorities in the second phase election slated for June 28.

The amended Article 18 (1) of the Local Level Election Act had a mandatory provision for political parties to submit the signatures of parties officers to Election Commission 15 days prior to the day of filing the candidacy. The timeframe, which was mentioned in the Act, was only omitted in the first amendment.

The long time agitating six parties of madhesh, now unified as Rastriya Prajatantra Party, had been long demanding for the amendment of this provision.

Newly sworn in Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma presented the amendment bill in the Parliament for discussion, which was objected by two of the MPs. The Parliament, however, endorsed the amendment bill.

Before the amendment in the act, the Parliament also approved the proposal of rule elimination. The previous proposal to eliminate the Rule 127’s subsection (1) of provision 259 of Parliament Rules-2073 was approved by majority.

The second phase election will cover the large swath of Nepal’s volatile southern plains and 41 districts which has the voter population of about 9 million. The first phase of local election was held on May 14 which witnessed 73 percent voter turnout. (ANI)