Nepal Today

Monday, April 1, 2013

NEPAL, UAE PLAY IN ACC TWNTY20 CUP Kathmandu, 2 April: Nepal plays UAE is the Twenty20 Cup semi-final in the Nepalese capital Tuesday. Nepal ha already secured a semi-final berth in UAE in November after defeating Maldives, Singapore and Malaysia while losing to Hong Kong. Afghanistan and UAE, who have qualified for the World Cup, play in another semi-final Tuesday in Kathmandu. nnnn CAPITAL’S MIN9IMUM MORNING TEMPERATURE TUESDAY 15 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 2 April: Capital’s morning temperature sat seven Tuesday was 15 degrees Celsius. Mercury will rise to 31 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Nnnn .. 800 TEAMS BEING DEPLOYED BY GOVT. TO DISTRIBUTE CITIZENSHHIP Kathmandu, 2 April: In the wake of the Election Commission (EC) demand for distribution of citizenship certificates in order to accommodate in the new electoral rolls those who have attained the voting age but do not yet have such certificates, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has made preparations to deploy around 800 mobile teams across the country for the purpose, Gani Ansari writes in Republica.. According to a high level source involved in the planning, MoHA will deploy mobile teams across all 75 districts immediately after the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Peace and Restructuring (MoPR) release the necessary budget. MoHA mobile teams will work together with teams from the EC that will register the new voters in the electoral rolls. “The Finance Ministry will provide the budget for about 500 mobile teams while MoPR will provide a budget for 305 teams,” said the source, adding, “If we receive the budget from the ministries at the earliest, we are ready to deploy our teams within a week.” MoHA has made all technical preparations for citizenship distribution, including printing of citizenship certificates. Also, MoHA has already directed all chief district offices (CDOs) to remain prepared for the mobile teams and distribution of citizenship certificates. In a press release Sunday, Spokesperson of MoHA Shankar Prasad Koirala urged all eligible persons to take their citizenship certificates and register their names in the new electoral rolls. “MoHA has placed citizenship distribution on high priority as it is essential for the new voter registrations with photos and biometrics,” said a senior official at the ministry on condition of anonymity. Asked about the number of security personnel to be deployed with the mobile teams, MoHA officials said this was yet to be finalized. Meanwhile, the EC on Monday decided to deploy new teams to begin voter registrations with photos and biometrics, side by side with the mobile teams from MoHA. Joint-secretary at the EC Madhu Prasad Regmi said that deployment of EC teams with MoHA mobile teams will be cost effective as well as less troublesome to people as they will be registered in the electoral rolls at the same time as they get their citizenship certificates. Earlier, the EC had asked the government to provide security for its officials involved in updating the electoral rolls as they were obstructed by the cadres of some fringe political parties. An alliance of various fringe parties led by the CPN-Maoist has been obstructing the ongoing voter registration work across the country, stating that the decision to conduct fresh polls was unconstitutional. Leaders of the alliance on Monday handed in a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety, urging him to stop the electoral process. In response, the EC urged them not to obstruct the voter registration as it was a regular process. Nnnn IN BID TO LIMIT PARTIES, ONE PERCENT THRESHOLD 1 pc threshold provision for PR seats proposed Kathmandu, 2 April: The Election Commission (EC) has finally proposed a provision that makes it mandatory for any political party to bag at least one percent of total valid votes to be eligible to get seats under the proportional representative electoral system. The commission forwarded a draft of ordinance to this effect to the government on Monday. Though the commission, in the draft ordinance, had earlier proposed 1.5 percent as threshold criteria, it reduced the threshold to one percent as leaders from several small parties strongly protested the legal arrangement, Thira L. Bhusal writes in Republica.. "The commission has reduced the threshold provision from 1.5 percent to 1 percent to give a greater voice to small political parties," Madhu Prasad Regmi, joint secretary at the commission, told Republica. The ordinance draft will come into effect as an election law after the government forwards it to the president´s office and the president endorses it. With the implementation of this provision, many of the 33 political parties that were represented in the dissolved Constituent Assembly (CA) will not be able to secure seats in the coming elections in the same strength. In the past, there was no threshold provision for eligibility under the proportional representative system and 25 political parties managed to secure their seats in the 601-member CA. Due to split of some political parties, the number of parties reached to 33 by the time of CA dissolution in May 2012. Only nine of the 54 political parties that contested the CA polls in 2008 had obtained votes above one percent of the total valid votes cast. But a political party can ensure its seat in the legislature if it wins a seat directly from a constituency under the first-past-the-post electoral system even if the number of votes received by the organization under the proportional quota is less than one percent. The commission in the ordinance forwarded to the government has proposed several other new provisions in election-related laws. The proposed provision bars persons convicted of criminal offenses or involved in moral turpitude from becoming candidates. Such a person can be candidate only six years after completing their sentences handed down by courts or other legal authorities. The ordinance also for the first time listed the types of crimes and offenses for which a person can be restricted from becoming an election candidate. As per the ordinance, a person who is convicted of murder, theft, robbery, misappropriation of foreign currency, kidnap, rape, corruption, human trafficking, money laundering, banking irregularities, passport misuse, drug smuggling, jail break or abbeting jail break by others, smuggling of protected wildlife or vegetation or objects of archeological importance, illegal trade and spying, among other illegal activities, or has shown moral turpitude, cannot be a member of any political party if he or she has not completed serving the sentence handed down by a court or any other legal authority. "The new provision has made it mandatory for a candidate to give his/her property details and make it clear that the person is not facing any criminal case at the time," said Regmi. "If the details claimed in the self-declarations statements are found to be false, the election results concerning the candidate will be invalid." The draft ordinance has also proposed registering senior citizens living in various old-age homes in the voters´ list and allowing them to cast votes under the proportional representative system at nearby booths. Nnnn


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