EC proposes four types of ballot papers for NA poll

Kathmandu, January 16

The Election Commission today proposed to use four types of ballot papers of two colours in the National Assembly election slated for February 7.

During a meeting with representatives of five national political parties — CPN-UML, Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal at its central office today, EC officials sought their views on the proposal.

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav told the leaders that the poll panel had expedited preparation for the NA election. He informed them that the EC was in the final phase of formulating NA guideline and directive.

EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal said the poll panel proposed to use separate ballot papers for women, Dalit, differently abled candidates and for three candidates from the open category.

“Separate ballot papers will be used for single transferable voting system and majority voting system,” said Dhakal. He said women NA members and other three NA members would be elected through STV voting system, and Dalit members and differently abled or NA member from minority groups would be elected through majority system.

Eight NA members will be elected from each province, while the remaining three will be nominated by the president on the recommendation of the government.

According to Spokesperson Dhakal, colours of ballot papers for provincial assembly members and chief and deputy chiefs of local levels will vary as the weightage of their votes are different.

Chiefs and deputy chiefs of local levels, and provincial assembly members are voters of the NA election. Vote weightage of the local level chief and deputy chief is 18, whereas vote weightage of provincial assembly member is 48. The election body said there would be two sub-polling centres in each polling centre — one for provincial assembly members and the other for chief and deputy chiefs of local levels.

Dhakal said the EC discussed management, voting, and vote counting procedure and its expectation from political parties.

UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang, who also participated in the meeting, said he had suggested to the EC to make the ballot papers voter-friendly. The EC said it would provide training to representatives of political parties on STV voting procedure and vote counting method.

UML leader Agni Kharel, NC leaders Bal Krishna Khand, CPN-Maoist Centre leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Dev Gurung, Ram Narayan Bidari, FSF-N leader Rajendra Shrestha, RJP-N Coordinator Mahantha Thakur attended the meeting.

Likewise, EC commissioners Narendra Dahal, Ishwori Prasad Paudel and Sudhir Kumar Shah, and Secretary Begendra Raj Sharma were present at the meeting.