In anticipation of the conclusion of the terms of 20 National Assembly members, including Speaker Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, on March 3, 2024, the Election Commission (EC) has launched internal preparations for the upcoming elections. Despite the delay in the official announcement of the election date, the EC is actively engaged in laying the groundwork for the electoral process.
With the promulgation of the new Constitution in 2015, vacancies will arise for 19 elected members and 20 nominated members of the National Assembly. The election will fill the seats of 19 members, while the President will nominate one member.
EC Spokesperson Shaligram Sharma Poudel revealed that the Commission issued a letter to the National Statistics Office, seeking the calculation of voter weight as part of the preparation process.
According to the legal framework, eligible voters include members of the provincial assembly, as well as the head and deputy head of the municipality. The National Assembly Member Election Act 2075 mandates that the government announce the election date 35 days before the vacancy, despite the law requiring a 120-day notice. With the delayed announcement, the EC now has approximately 75 days for election preparations.
The Act also outlines the selection of Electoral Council members in each province through a secret ballot, involving members of the provincial assembly, the head and deputy head of the municipality, and the chairman and vice-chairman of the rural municipality. These different groups carry varying weights in the voting process.
In the previous 2074 election, provincial assembly members’ votes weighed 48, while those of the head and deputy head of the municipality were 18. The EC is currently reviewing these weights based on the 2078 census data, anticipating an increase due to population growth. The meticulous preparation by the EC reflects the commitment to conducting fair and transparent elections despite the time constraints.