Kathmandu, September 23
Lawyers have opposed the Election Commission’s decision to print only two types of ballot paper for provincial and parliamentary elections.
Senior Advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali and Advocate Dipendra Jha said there should be four types of ballot paper for parliamentary FPTP election, parliamentary PR election, provincial FPTP election and provincial PR election.
“If the EC prints just two types of ballot paper, it could complicate things. If the PR ballot papers of parliamentary and provincial polls are the same, it will pose difficulties for parties that forge alliance at the centre and contest elections in provinces independently,” Gyawali added.
“In the first and second phase of local polls millions of votes were declared invalid. If the EC does not print four types of ballot paper, then the percentage of invalid votes could be high,” Gyawali said. Free and fair election also means the EC has to ensure low percentage of invalid votes, he argued.
Advocate Jha said if only two types of ballot paper were printed, that could violate the right to privacy. “If there are only two types of ballot paper and if a case is filed in the court against one candidate/party’s election, then another candidate and the party’s right will also be violated as the votes of another candidate and party will also have to be revealed in the court.
Jha also said if there were only two types of ballot paper, then one candidate’s unpopularity could become a reason for voters to not vote for another candidate of the same party.
A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.