RJP-N registers with EC
Kathmandu, August 26
Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal today registered with the Election Commission for provincial and parliamentary elections.
The party sought umbrella as its election symbol for provincial and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 26.
A meeting of RJP-N office bearers a few days ago had decided to seek bicycle as its election symbol for third phase local polls slated for September 18. The RJP-N sought bicycle as election symbol after the Election Commission refused to grant the party ‘umbrella’ as election symbol citing technical and legal reasons.
Member of the RJP-N presidium Rajendra Mahato told THT that party leaders urged the EC to remove five election symbols – human hand, arrow, a pair of oxen, rail engine and old man with a walking stick from the ballot papers in the third phase of local elections.
Bicycle was used by National Madhes Socialist Party in the past.
Mahato said RJP-N leaders told EC office bearers that if five other election symbols of the RJP-N constituents were used in the ballot papers that could confuse voters and raise the percentage of invalid votes. Mahato said they also told EC office bearers that if they did not remove the other five election symbols from the ballot papers, then they should be ready to count the votes cast for these symbols as the RJP-N’s votes.
In the past an arrow symbol was used by Sadbhawana Party, human hand by Nepal Sadbhawana Party, a pair of oxen by Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, rail engine by Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum- Republican and an old farmer with a walking stick by Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Nepal.
EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma said removal of the five election symbols as demanded by the RJP-N was not possible as the EC had already printed ballot papers for the third phase of local polls. “
The RJP-N, which had demanded amendment to the constitution and hike in the number of local levels in the Tarai, did not take part in the first and second phase of local polls.
Acting President of Nepali Congress Bimalendra Nidhi said RJP-N’s decision to take part in the upcoming elections was constructive and far-sighted as it had accepted the constitution and also sought to amend its provisions.
“The RJP-N which refused to sign the constitution has decided to take part in elections and at the same time to take its agenda to the voters,” Nidhi said. “The upcoming elections will show who favours amendment to the constitution and who opposes it.”
Nidhi likened the RJP-N’s continued struggle for amendment to the constitution as the CPN-MC’s continued advocacy of directly elected president.
Nidhi said the ruling alliance had given value to the three-point agreement and put the constitution amendment bill to vote, which signified political alliance between the three forces — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-Maoist Centre and the RJP-N. He said if the upcoming general election gave two-thirds majority to the forces that wanted amendment to the constitution, the statute could be amended.
“These three forces can also form electoral alliance in an attempt to muster two-thirds majority in favour of constitution amendment,” Nidhi said and added that his party was open to the idea of forging electoral alliance with the RJP-N.