By-elections stopped by act, many positions at local bodies remain vacant

Many positions of elected people’s representatives remain vacant in lack of necessary amendment of the Election Commission (EC) Act 2017 for by-elections.

The current act does not have provisions for by-elections if the positions of chief/deputy chief of district coordination committee, and chief/deputy chief and ward chairman of all the local bodies remain vacant due to any reason.

“The current act does not allow by-elections if positions of the elected people’s representatives become vacant due to death or any other reason. It has to be amended,” EC Spokesperson Deepak Subedi told Setopati. “We have already urged the government through the Home Ministry to amend the act. The act will be amended only after the ministry tables the necessary amendments and the House discusses on them.”

“The act does not have provision for holding by-elections for the remaining period of term if the positions become vacant due to death of the elected representatives or other reason. By-elections can be held only after amendment of the act,” he added.

The EC says by-elections need to be held for 28 positions. The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has already written to the 753 local bodies for the third time to submit details of the vacant positions.
The government must amend the act and fix the date for by-elections. The EC says it is updating the electoral roll.

The positions of elected representatives become vacant if the representatives die or face criminal charges or resign or due to another reason.