KATHMANDU, Sep 4: State Affairs Committee of the parliament has endorsed the two poll related bills after ruling Nepali Congress (NC) lawmakers dropping their controversial amendment proposals on Monday.
Bill on Election of Members of House of Representatives and Election of Members of Provincial Assembly are set to be tabled for endorsement at the full House meeting scheduled for 1 pm today. The bills were stalled in the parliamentary committee for over a month following row over demands of 18 NC lawmakers to allow corruption convicted to contest polls three years after serving their jail sentence. The government has announced the election of federal parliament and provincial assembly together in two phases in November 26 and December 7.
NC's lawmakers were criticized for delaying the endorsement of necessary laws for the polls, demanding unnecessary provisions in the poll bills. NC member in the SAC Ananda Dhungana, who is among the 18 lawmakers demanding the controversial amendment, said in the committee meeting this morning that they decided drop the amendment proposals. "The amendment was driven from our personal interest and it was not the party's amendment. So we decided to drop paving way for the election related bills to be endorsed from the parliament," he said in the meeting. Former Home Minister and NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi seconded Dhungana's opinion in the meeting.
Meanwhile right to no vote provision from the election bills has been withdrawn after most of the lawmakers standing against it. Home Minister Janardan Sharma, who was present in the meeting, announced withdrawn of the provision addressing the suggestion of the lawmakers. Section 76 of the Bill on Election of Members of House of Representatives had proposed allowing the voters to choose None of the Above (NOTA) option in the ballot papers. Despite Supreme Court ruling to provision right to reject in the election laws, major political parties are reluctant to include the provision arguing that it could invite political instability in the country. Most of the lawmakers from CPN-UML had strongly opposed the provision in the committee meeting.