Kathmandu: Nepal is voting. The voting opened at 7 am this morning across the country. The poll is the second general election Nepal is holding after the promulgation of the federal democratic constitution in 2015.
Organizing a press meet in the capital on Thursday, Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, chief election commissioner, said that a total of 80,567,500 ballot papers–39,962,500 ballot papers for election to the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies under the first-past-the-post system and 40,605,000 ballot papers for provincial and parliamentary election under proportional representation system–have been dispatched to polling centers across the country.
Nepal uses two methods to elect representatives for the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies. Under the first-past-the-post electoral system, representatives are directly elected from each constituency.
Nepal has a total of 165 electoral constituencies for the House of Representatives. Likewise, under the proportional representation, Nepal uses the Sainte-Laguë method to allocate seats. As per the formula, each party’s votes are divided by a sequence of odd numbers to allocate all 110 seats of the House.
For the first time, Nepal elected representatives for provincial assemblies in 2017. After the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015, Nepal created seven provincial assemblies, one each for seven provinces, in the federal structure.
For the provincial assembly elections, 330 seats have been allocated for the first-past-the-post electoral system, and 220 under the proportional representation system.
House of Representatives
The lower house–the House of Representatives– at the federal parliament has 275 members who are elected by two methods. A total of 165 members are elected through the first-past-the-post electoral system, and 110 members through the proportional representation system.
Alliances of political parties
In a way, it can be said that political parties are not going to the polls on their own. Each political formation is in a electoral alliance, declared or undeclared, with other parties.
The four parties in the government have formed an electoral alliance of five parties for the elections and they have divided electoral seats among themselves based on their respective strengths. As per the agreement reached between the parties, Nepali Congress has kept 90 seats, while CPN (Maoist Centre) got 45 federal seats, CPN (Unified Socialist) got 20, and Rastriya Janamorcha got two seats. Likewise, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party got eight eight seats.
Likewise, the CPN (UML) has also formed an alliance with the Janata Samajbadi Party in select constituencies. The CPN-UML is supporting JSPN in 17 constituencies and 42 provincial constituencies. In return, the Madhes-based party will support the UML in 35 federal seats and 70 provincial constituencies. In other constituencies, both the parties have fielded their own candidates who are competing independently.
General elections in numbers
As many as 17,988,570 eligible voters, including 9,140,806 males
A total of 10,892 polling centers and 22,227 polling booths
There are 2,412 candidates for 165 seats in the House of Representatives election race under the FPTP electoral system
There are 2,199 candidates contesting under the PR election system for 110 HoR seats
There are 3,224 candidates who are contesting provincial assembly elections under the FPTP system
As many as 3,708 candidates are contesting under the PR election system for provincial assembly elections