Nepal's Election Commission to disqualify 22 underage candidates

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Kathmandu, Mar 31 : The Election Commission (EC) of Nepal is all set to disqualify the candidacy of 22 persons under the proportional representation (PR) electoral system, citing their underage.

EC spokesperson Laxman Prasad Bhattarai told reporters here that at least 22 candidates from different parties were found to be below the required age of 25 years.

"The EC has asked the concerned parties to furnish detailed replies by April 2. If they fail to produce necessary documents by then, the EC will remove their names from the list," Bhattarai said.

Bhattarai also informed that some of the parties have repeated the name of the same candidate under the PR list as well as the first-past-the-post electoral system whereas some names have been proposed by two different parties.

According to a Kantipur Report, some of the parties had submitted the list of candidates without producing copies of the citizenship certificate. Out of around 250 such candidates, 102 were from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP).

Bhattarai also said the EC has already completed the process of printing 241 types of ballot papers, including 20.8 million for PR and 20.4 million for the first-past-the-post electoral system and are being transported to districts. The EC has fixed 20,888 polling booths in 9,821 locations across the country where 234,000 staff, including 108,000 local volunteers will be deployed for conducting polls.

He also said EC has decided to invite chief election commissioners from all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to observe the election.

Besides, more than 800 international observers from 28 international organizations are expected to arrive to observe the April 10 Constituent Assembly elections.

However, 148 national organizations that had promised to deploy over 90,000 national observers earlier have failed to meet the pledged figure.

Meanwhile, the EC has summoned Prime Minister and president of Nepali Congress (NC) Girija Prasad Koirala, general secretary of Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist chairman Prachanda for a discussion on growing poll-related violence.

The meeting is being held amid reports of a surge in clashes among party workers and increasing violations of the election code of conduct

According to nepalnews.com, the EC wrote a letter on Sunday, inviting the three leaders after Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokharel returned to Kathmandu from his tour of western Nepal.

ANI

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