EC preparing for NA elections

Kathmandu, December 9

The Election Commission is preparing to hold elections for 19 seats of the National Assembly that will fall vacant on March 3.

The EC is preparing to hold the elections between January 21 and 24 as it is required to hold the NA elections 35 days before the tenure of one-third of the NA members expires. Out of 19 seats that will be elected this time, one shall be appointed by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and the rest shall be elected on the basis of majority by an electoral college consisting of provincial assembly members and chairpersons and deputy chairpersons  of the local levels.

Of the 18 NA seats to be elected, seven women, two Dalits, one from minority and differently- abled group and two from ‘other’ group will be elected by the Provincial Assembly members and chairs and deputy chairs of local levels whose votes will carry different weightage in the NA election.

Spokesperson for the EC Raj Kumar Shrestha said the EC needed at least 120 days to conduct any election, but since the poll body had less than three months now to hold election, it wanted the government to declare the poll date as soon as possible. “We hope the government will announce the poll date in a day or two.”

The EC held a meeting with representatives of political parties today and told them that it wanted to hold NA election before January 24. EC Spokesperson Shrestha said representatives of the political parties told the EC that they were ready to cooperate with the EC to help it hold the NA election in time.

Shrestha said if the dates of the NA election was announced soon, the EC could give more time to the political parties to register them with EC and for carrying out their election campaigns. Parliament Secretariat has asked the EC to conduct

NA polls.

Article 86 (3) of the constitution stipulates that the term of office of the members of the National Assembly shall be six years. The term of office of one-third of the members of the NA shall expire every two years.

Provided that, for the first time, after the commencement of this constitution, arrangements shall be made by drawing lots to retire one-third of the members on the expiry of two years, another one-third on the expiry of four years, and the final one-third on the expiry of six years.