Act related to election symbol amended

Kathmandu, June 11

The Parliament today amended the act relating to political parties allowing newly unified parties to use election symbol of any of the constituent parties that merged to form the unified party. This means the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal would not have umbrella as its election symbol this time but it could use any of the election symbols used by six parties that merged to form the RJP-N.

Sadbhawana Party, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Republican, Nepal Sadbhawana Party and National Madhes Socialist Party had merged a few weeks ago to form RJP-N.

The Parliament suspended its rule to amend the act through a fast track process.

The original clause of the act had provisioned that after a unified party was created, the symbol of the constituent parties of the unified party could not be used by any party at least for one year. This provision was amended today allowing any unified party to use the election symbol of the parties that merged to form the unified party. The amendment made today to the act relating to political parties also made it clear that the unified party could use only one symbol in one district.

Earlier, a meeting of the Cabinet today decided to register the bill to amend the act relating to political parties. Minister of Home Affairs Janardan Sharma had tabled the amendment bill at the Parliament.

After the amendment bill was passed, Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar adjourned the House till July 2.

The Parliament suspended rules 114(1), 119,  120 and  127(1) of the Parliamentary  Regulations to pass the bill today. Had these rules not been suspended, the Parliament would have needed at least 10 days to pass the bill. Nepali Congress Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha proposed suspension of these rules to pass the amendment bill. The Parliament convened three meetings today to pass the bill.

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the government amended the act to let the RJP-N choose election symbol of one of the six constituent parties that merged to form a unified RJP-N.

Rastriya Janamorcha lawmaker Meena Pun said the government and the Parliament should not do things to please the RJP-N.

Lawmakers of the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and Rastriya Janamorcha opposed the amendment bill, while the main opposition party, CPN-UML, maintained silence over the amendment bill.