Skip to main content

Women, Dalit, marginalized representation to increase

Parliament is set to endorse the Local Level Election Bill that sets out criteria to significantly increase the representation of women, Dalits and marginalized groups in local bodies from the upcoming local elections. The new bill, that is likely to be endorsed on Thursday as none of the major political parties have opposed it, will replace the existing Local Body Election Act 2048 BS. The new bill makes it mandatory to field the candidacy of at least one woman either for the post of chief or deputy chief at village councils, municipalities and district coordination committees. “Political parties must maintain at least 50 percent women’s representation for the posts of either chief or deputy chief while fielding candidates for village councils, municipalities and district coordination committees,” reads Clause 17 (4) of the bill endorsed by parliament’s State Affairs Committee.

Women and Dalits respectively constitute over 51 percent and about 13 percent of the total population of the country. At present they are under-represented. The bill also includes a mandatory provision on electing at least two women, including a candidate from a Dalit or marginalized community, to a ward committee. As the provision makes it mandatory to elect two women to the ward committee, half the four-member ward committee will be women, other than the ward chairperson.  According to the bill that was finalized by the parliamentary committee and tabled for endorsement in the full House on Wednesday, all political parties must field the candidacy of at least one Dalit woman in the post of ward committee member.

Likewise, the local poll bill has reserved four seats for women and two seats for candidates hailing from the Dalit or marginalized communities in the village councils. In the case of a municipality, five seats have been reserved for women and three for Dalits or the marginalized, while the number is at least three in the case of the district coordination committee. Although the constitution promulgated in September 2015 had reserved seats for women, Dalits or the marginalized under Articles 215 and 216, there was no provision for securing the representation of Dalits or the marginalized in  local structures under the existing laws. At least one seat was reserved for women in ward committees during the last local poll held 19 years ago. 

The Local Level Election Bill has for the first time barred any individual convicted of a crime, caste-based discrimination, witchcraft or polygamy from contesting local elections. Though the original bill registered by the government had only proposed barring those convicted of caste-based discrimination from contesting local polls, the SAC added these other crimes to the list.  The new local poll bill has also proposed barring individuals convicted of corruption, rape, human trafficking, drug trafficking, abduction, money laundering, misuse of passport or any other criminal offense. The existing law had only barred those convicted of moral turpitude, the mentally disordered, loan defaulters and all government employees or staff working in an institution which provides salaries from state coffers.

Ashok Dahal



Popular posts from this blog

Bill registration an important step: India

India has said the Nepal government’s registration of a constitution amendment bill in Parliament is an “important step”. “As part of the ongoing efforts, the registering of a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Nepali Parliament on November 29, 2016 is an important step,” said Spokesperson for Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup. Responding to the Post’s question on the bill, Swarup said, “Our consistent position has been that peace, stability and progress of Nepal is in the interest of both India and Nepal. We have therefore been supportive of initiatives of the government of Nepal to meet the aspirations of all sections of its society through dialogue and constitutional process. “We hope that all sides will remain closely engaged and the ongoing efforts would be concluded successfully,” he said, while reiterating that “as a close and friendly neighbour of Nepal, India will continue to extend all support for Nepal’s peace, stability and economic development as prioritized …

Amendment proposal at behest of India: Oppn MPs

Opposition lawmakers have claimed that the government registered the constitution amendment bill in Parliament at the behest of India. The opposition parties obstructed the meeting of Parliament for the third consecutive time on Sunday, demanding the withdrawal of the amendment bill, which proposes reviewing the province boundaries, the citizenship provisions and the criteria for representation in the National Assembly.
“It will be treachery if the constitution, which was promulgated with the backing of 90 percent of people's representatives, is amended on the instructions of any foreign country,” said Nepal Workers Peasants Party (NWPP) lawmaker Anuradha Thapa Magar while speaking at the House, Sunday. Lawmakers from opposition parties, including the CPN-UML, CPN (ML), NWPP, Rartriya Janamorcha and Nepa Party, stood up at their respective places and obstructed House proceedings right after Speaker Onsari Gharti announced commencement of the meeting.

As Speaker Gharti allowed the op…

Minister of my health

Biswas BaralThe curious case of Gagan Thapa I don’t know Gagan Thapa well. What I know better is that I want him to continue as my health minister. How many ministers have there been in the post-1990 democratic Nepal who have done something worthwhile for the common folks and not directed all their focus on enriching themselves and their mother parties? Gokarna Bista. Lalbabu Pandit. Janardan Sharma. Narayan Kaji Shrestha. There aren’t many. This is why when we have someone like Gagan Thapa in the cabinet we should ensure that he stays put for at least a few years. 
If you want to know what Thapa has done, you only need to visit Kanti Children’s Hospital at Maharajgunj, which was until recently among our most mismanaged and dirtiest public hospitals—and this was a hospital for children. The doctors, nurses and other staff there were rude, offensive even, to the parents who brought their children there for treatment. Nor did the hospital staffs seem to have a clue about how to deal with …