Sunday, May 04, 2008

Major parties fall short on EC quotas

Razen Manandhar

Kathmandu, May 2[2008]:
Two of the oldest parties in the poll fray — Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML — became the last parties to submit their PR lists.
The NC submitted its list to the Election Commission (EC) at 5.15 pm, while the UML submitted its list at 6.15 pm. The EC had fixed 5 pm deadline for submitting the PR lists, but cadres of the two parties entered the EC office before the deadline and made the EC officials wait till their parties came up with the lists.
The NC rushed a party activist in a taxi to the EC to submit its PR list.
The CPN-Maoist had brought the list by 3.15 pm. Other newly-emerged parties also submitted their lists to the EC today.
Most of the fringe parties, with one or two CA seats in their kitty, had submitted their lists earlier. Nepal Pariwar Dal became the first among these 25 parties, submitting its one-member list on April 25.
The EC will examine the lists to see whether the PR lists have been prepared ensuring the inclusion of women, Janajatis, Madhesis and Dalits. The EC will send back the lists to parties concerned for correction if the lists are not inclusive.
“There is a formal process in the EC to approve names. It will take some days,” Dhruba Dhakal, an undersecretary at the EC, said.
According to the Election Commission, 11 political parties, which had submitted their closed lists comprising 30 per cent candidates under the PR system, should have 37.8 per cent Janajati candidates, 31.2 Madhesi candidates, 13 per cent Dalit candidates and four per cent candidates from backward regions in their PR lists. They should not have more than 30.2 per cent candidates from Bahun and other Hindu castes.
However, major parties failed to allocate legally required number of seats to Janajatis, Madhesis, Dalits and backward regions.
The Maoists have picked the largest number of PR candidates from the backward region (four
per cent).
Janajatis and others comprise 30 per cent of CA members picked under the PR system (the Maoists have picked 29 Madhesis and 30 Janajatis).
Nepali Congress PR list comprises 21 Madheshis (28.77 per cent), nine Dalits (12.33 per cent) and 27 Janajatis (36.99 per cent). Two NC nominees (2.74 per cent) are from the backward region. However, the party has increased the number in “others” quota, giving 24 seats (32.88 per cent) under this category representing Bahuns and other groups.
The UML PR list comprises 21 Madheshis (30 per cent), nine Dalits (12.85 per cent), 24 Janajatis (34.28 per cent), two candidates from the backward region (2.86 per cent) and 30 others.
TMDP has only Tarai castes like Sah, Yadav, Jha, Singh and Kedia on its list. MJF has picked 21 candidates from Tarai-based communities; only one MJF PR candidate is from a different community.
Among small parties, the Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekta Party Nepal has picked Keshav Mainali, Nepali Pariwar Dal has Eknath Dhakal. Dalit Janajati Party and Nepa Rashtriya Party have picked Bishendra Paaswan and Buddha Sayami.
[KATHMANDU, MAY 03, 2008, Baishakh 21, 2065 ]