Nepal to elect new president, VP within a month after new parliament formation

Kathmandu : Nepal will hold the elections for country’s third president and the vice-president within a month after the completion of two tier elections of Province and the House of Representatives.

The Legislative Parliament of Nepal on Sunday passed the bill concerning the elections of the president and the vice-president, which asks to hold the election for the new state head within one month of commencement of the new parliamentary meeting. The prevailing parliament is set to expire in the first week of 2018, as per the newly-promulgated Constitution of Nepal.

But some lawmakers still are stressing on directly elected president and vice-president.

“The president is the most admired post of the nation. It also is the symbol of the national unity and sovereignty, but the president should be elected directly by the people, because the western parliamentary system is now proved unsuccessful,” lawmaker Dilli Prasad Kafle from the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) expressed his opposing view, during a discussion over the parliamentary bill last week.

As per the bill passed on Sunday, the right to announce the dates for the election is granted to Nepal’s Election Commission.

The election commission should hold the election before at least a month of the expiry of the tenure of the sitting president and vice-president or announce the date for the new president or the vice-president if the post is vacant within a month.

Nepal, which was declared a republic nation in 2008, have got two presidents till now – Dr. Rambaran Yadav as the first president and the chairing president Bidhya Devi Bhandari as the second and the first female president of Nepal.

As per the new bill a total of 884 voters, 275 from the House of Representatives, 59 from the National Assembly and 550 members from the Provincial Council will vote to elect the new state and deputy state heads.

The bill has allowed anyone out of the parliament or any state assemblies to stand in fray for the post. It also has erased the provision of security deposit of 1,75,000 for the candidates of president and vice-president. Now the candidate can file the nomination for free of cost, but will need five supporters and five proposers.

The newly-endorsed bill has the age limitation of not less than 45 years and naturalised Nepali citizenship to stand for the election. Also it has prohibited the people accused and jailed for more than 20 years in corruption, human trafficking, property purification, drug trafficking, foreclosure charges to stand for the post.

But the people indulged in organised crimes and other similar cases can contest for the post after six years of their release if they have completed the prison sentence for less than 20 years. The blacklisted ones also can contest the election after getting their name removed from the list.

However, the simultaneous elections for the president and the vice-president are not possible as the bill has the compulsory provision of having the candidate of different sects and genders to contest for the post of the president and the vice-president. The bill does not allow the same gender or same ethnic community to stand for the post of state head.

Also, the electoral process of electing the new vice-president will start after the announcement of the election results of the presidential election. (ANI)