Lack of by-election laws has kept posts vacant: EC

Kathmandu, October 3

The Election Commission of Nepal today said around 25 office bearers of local levels, district coordinating committee and a provincial assembly post remained vacant due to lack of laws to govern the by-election process.

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma today told the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representative that there were no laws to govern the by-election process of local and provincial office bearers.

She told the panel that among the 25 vacant posts,   16 were of ward chairs, one post of mayor of municipality and one from provincial assembly and the rest of them were posts of member of local levels.

Out of 25 posts of office bearers that fell vacant,  17 of them  died after elections,  four posts fell vacant after they were  elected to the district coordinating committees, two post holders  resigned, one was sent to prison and one post remained vacant because election was not  held there because nobody filed nomination.

According to the EC, districts where these posts have fallen vacant are Panchthar, Nawalparasi Susta east, Solukhumbu, Udayapur, Sunsari, Siraha, Mahottari, Ramechhap, Nuwakot, Makawanpur, Kapilvastu, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Pyuthan, Doti, Achham, Baitadi, Kanchanpur, Sankhuwasabha and Bhaktapur.

“There is a vacant post for chair of a rural municipality, members’ posts of ward of municipality and district coordination committees. But due to lack of laws it is difficult to hold by-elections for these post,” Sharma said.

Another Commissioner of EC Ishwari Prasad Paudel said there was no provision for by-election in the constitution. “We have informed the prime minister about this problem,” he said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is the focal ministry for the EC. But Spokesperson of MoHA Ram Krishna Subedi said even though his ministry was the focal ministry for the EC, the preliminary draft of law requires a document that should be prepared by the EC. He added, “We will facilitate the EC as a focal ministry.”

Both commissioners told the panel that election laws should be enacted in time and if that happened they could make preparations in time. Paudel said that the EC was given only 120 days to prepare for elections which was not enough.