'Right to reject' removed from election bill

January 28, 2017 01:20 AM Republica


KATHMANDU, Jan 28: Going against the Supreme Court order, the government and a parliamentary committee have removed the right to reject option during voting in the upcoming elections. 

The provision popularly known as 'none of the above' [NOTA] was removed by the government from the draft of the Local Level Election Bill prior to tabling it in parliament. The sub-committee formed by the State Affairs Committee of the parliament is set to forward the draft bill to parliament without the NOTA provision.
 
“We are about to finalize the draft, no one has demanded the none of the above option in the bill,” said UML lawmaker in the sub-committee Rameshwar Phuyal.

The Supreme Court had two years ago had ordered the government to ensure the right to reject option in the upcoming elections. 

The election body had introduced the NOTA provision while drafting the Local Body Working Procedures Bill following a Supreme Court order to the  government authorities concerned, including the EC, in a verdict issued in January 2015.
 
During their discussions with election officials, the Prime Minister's Office and the political parties had opted for removing the provision, saying that the right to reject could invite complications while conducting elections in fledgling democracies like Nepal.

In South Asia, India and Bangladesh have NOTA provisions while Pakistan reversed such a provision following non-cooperation by political parties. 

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