Report BY BISHNU BUDHATHOKI, The Kathmandu Post ( Feb21,2008 edition)
Out of the 74 parties registered at the Election Commission (EC), 37 parties including those in the ruling seven-party alliance submitted closed lists of their candidates at the EC Wednesday for contesting 335 Constituent Assembly seats under the proportional electoral system.
After submission of his party’s closed list, Maoist Chairman Prachanda, flanked by senior party leader Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ and Maoist ministers, told journalists at the EC premises that the CPN-Maoist list has several inclusive features.
“We have allotted around 51 percent of the seats for women, 37.8 percent for ethnic communities including minorities like the Chepangs, 90 seats for Madhesis, 15 percent seats for dalits, 12 seats for candidates from backward regions, and 87 for others, apart from several seats for independent personalities,” he said. However, the Maoists have not met the legal criteria in the case of Madhesi seats which should have numbered at least 104.
Besides the Maoists, major constituents in the coalition government the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, and other parties in the interim parliament Rastriya Prajatantra Party and pro-monarch Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal submitted candidacies for all 335 seats.
Talking to journalists, UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said his party has submitted a very balanced list in accordance with the electoral law.
He also reiterated that the election should take place on the slated date. When asked about the non-presence of agitating Madhesi parties at the EC for submitting their lists, Nepal said the ongoing dialogue with the Madhesi leaders is heading in a positive direction and hoped they would also take part in the election.
Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel said that if any political party wanted to ensure the people’s rights, it should take part in the election. “If anybody does not want to take part in the election, it is his/her right, but we want to integrate all and take part in the election together,” he added.
Similarly, the ruling CPN (Marxist-Leninist) party led by CP Mainali, Nepal Sadbhavana Party-Anandidevi led by Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Shyam Shundar Gupta, Nepal Workers Peasants Party and People’s Front Nepal submitted the names of 100, 64 and 53
candidates respectively for election under the proportional system.