MPs demand 55 FPTP seats for women

Kathmandu, August 3

Lawmakers have demanded that 55 first-past-the-post constituencies out of 165 FPTP constituencies should be reserved for women.

Most of the women lawmakers who spoke at today’s meeting of the State Affairs Committee opined that this provision was necessary to ensure women’s meaningful representation in the Parliament.

Taking part in the discussion on the bill relating to House of Representatives election, CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Lalita Kumari Regmi said the bill should have a provision ensuring representation of women from all communities.

Another CPN-MC lawmaker Nisha Kumari Sah said the proposed bill had some provisions that were against the spirit of the constitution. “Differently-abled women also should be represented in the House through reservation,” she said.

CPN-UML lawmaker Pemba Lama stressed the need for designating constituencies exclusively for women.  He said 55 FPTP constituencies should be reserved for women which could keep changing in elections.

Lawmaker Janak Raj Joshi said the voter must have the right to recall their representatives if the latter did not meet voters’ aspiration. “If a lawmaker performs badly, if he/she does not participate in the House meetings and is absent in the House for more than six months, he/she should be recalled by two-third of his voters,” Joshi added.  He also said that the electoral system should be such that the FPTP vote could also be counted as PR votes for the parties concerned.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Ram Hari Khatiwada said all representatives of the Lower House should be elected through FPTP system, inclusion should be reflected only in the Upper House of the Parliament and equal rights should be given to  the members of the Upper House.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said if the two candidates scored equal votes, then the election should not be decided through a lottery but the term of the post should be divided between the two candidates.

Nepal Workers and Peasants Party lawmaker Prem Suwal said there should be no threshold.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Radhe Shyam Adhikari said the provision of banning the condemned people from contesting elections till life   should be removed. He said three to six years ban for such people could be proposed.

He also said that teachers should not be deployed in elections. Lawmaker Shyam Kumar Shrestha opined that the Election Commission should be given power to declare poll dates.