EC probing candidates’ eligibility

Kathmandu, March 13:

The Election Commission today said it is scrutinising the qualifications of the candidates who have filed nominations for the Constituent Assembly election set for April 10.

Nearly 10,000 people are in poll fray for the 601-member Assembly. Among them, 3,954 are contesting from 240 constituencies under the first-past-the-post system. Under this system each constituency elects one representative securing the largest number of votes. EC officials suggested that a few contenders might be disqualified to contest the polls at the end of the probe.

The Commission said it would nullify the results of the candidates if they were proved guilty of corruption and blacklisted on defaulting charges.

Commissioner Dr Nil Kantha Uprety suggested that a few parties have fielded “dubious” persons as candidates even as the election law prohibits such persons from contesting the polls.

The commission is in the process of investigation, which could take long time, Uprety said. At the end of the investigation, if the Commission finds that the candidates fail the eligibility criteria as stipulated by the law, their candidacies will be declared null and void, he said. “They can lose their status even after the EC publishes the election result.”

The Commission however is not authorised to take action against any candidate unless somebody files a complaint against the candidate in question. “If somebody with such a dubious character has filed his or her candidacy, he or she must have taken the risk of being ousted from the election process at any time,” he said.

The CA Member Election Act 2064 states that anybody who has been punished on corruption charge, or who has been blacklisted for defaulting loan, or who has been proved guilty in Jana Andolan 2006 are considered ineligible for candidacy.