Almost 300 contestants thrown out of Nepal poll fray

April 4th, 2008 - 10:50 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, April 4 (IANS) Nepal’s Election Commission (EC) Friday dashed the hopes of nearly 300 contestants by cancelling their candidacy for failing to meet the required criteria. Nepal goes to the polls Thursday.

“We have cancelled the nomination of 299 candidates as they failed to meet the requirements,” EC spokesperson Laxman Bhattarai told IANS.

All the contestants entered their names for the proportional representation system of election that would send 335 representatives to the 601-member constituent assembly.

While 240 seats are to be filled on the basis of direct elections, the remaining 26 are to be nominated.

With Friday’s axing of nominations, now there are 5,701 candidates from 54 parties who till remain in the proportional representation system ring.

There are 4,014 candidates who are battling it out in the direct election system.

The EC official said two parties, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and its splinter group, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, that is still supporting monarchy, suffered the most in the weeding out.

“RPP alone had over 60 nominations cancelled,” said Bhattarai.

The major reason for the axing was that the contestants failed to submit their citizenship certificate along with their papers despite being warned by the poll panel.

Some were also found to be under 25 years, the minimum age required to take part in the poll.

Over two dozen were disqualified after it was found that their names had been proposed for both election systems.

The EC also scrapped the nominations of eight people after investigating allegations that they had violated the code of conduct.

Four more contestants, including a powerful former minister from Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s ruling Nepali Congress party, have been asked for explanations after allegations that they violated the code of conduct.

Besides former minister Govinda Raj Joshi, the other three include two Maoist contestants.

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