FSF-Nepal leaders urge president to endorse ordinance

Kathmandu, December 24

Chair of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav and Co-chair of the party Rajendra Shrestha today met President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and urged her to endorse the National Assembly Election Ordinance.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had sent the ordinance to the president for her endorsement almost two months ago, but she has not endorsed it yet.

Shrestha said they told the president that she had no power to withhold the ordinance, as it was sent by the government.

He said if the ordinance was not okayed by the president, National Assembly election would not be held and a new government would not be formed.

“We also reminded the president that former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal could not leave the government for seven-eight months, as a new government could not be formed,” Shrestha said.

The president sought FSF-N leaders’ opinion on the argument that there was no provision regarding single transferable voting in the constitution.

“We told the president that such an argument has no constitutional ground. We have adopted proportional representation electoral system and single transferable voting system was the most suitable PR system,” Shrestha said. He added that in order to ensure ethnic diversity in the Upper House, as happened in a bicameral Parliament elsewhere, stakeholders needed to go for single transferable voting system.

President Bhandari’s Personal Secretary Bhesh Raj Adhikari said she told FSF-N leaders to help end the deadlock on the constitution.

According to Adhikari, the president told Yadav and Shrestha that the issue should be resolved in line with the spirit of the constitution, law and democratic norms.

The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are divided over the system to be followed for National Assembly election, with the former supporting single transferable voting system and the latter supporting first-past-the-post electoral system. The government has proposed single transferable voting system in the ordinance.