Kathmandu, 10 July, 2017 : The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), which boycotted the local level elections so far, approached the Election Commission (EC) on Friday, seeking to get registered with the election body to participate in the upcoming elections including the third round of local elections scheduled for September 18.
Top leaders of RJPN reached Bahadur Bhawan, the EC headquarters, more than two months ahead of the scheduled third round of elections in Province 2, the province considered to be a stronghold of Madhes-based parties. The party’s leaders said the registration move was aimed at participating in the final round of local elections in Province 2 and remaining provincial and federal parliamentary elections.
Leaders of RJPN were supposed to apply for party registration on Wednesday but the move was delayed after some leaders expressed serious concern over the party’s preamble.
“It’s for the election purpose. We want to participate in the elections but the government must create conducive environment to ensure our participation in the elections,” said RJPN leader Rajendra Mahato.
In the meeting with the election officials, the RJPN has demanded to provide umbrella, the party’s symbol, as its election symbol. “Since the symbol has united our party, the EC should authenticate it realizing its importance. Otherwise, our unity will collapse and we cannot participate in the elections at that cost,” said Mahato.
Election officials, however, said there is less chance of granting umbrella as the election symbol to RJPN as demanded by the party. “We have already printed ballot papers for Province 2 and there is no such possibility of granting new election symbol to RJPN. We can provide the desired election symbols only in the provincial and federal parliament elections,” said EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma. RJPN had boycotted the first and the second phase of local elections demanding constitution amendment bill pending at the parliament be endorsed before the elections. The party, however, was under pressure to participate in the elections after its various candidates basically in Province 5 contested the elections as independent candidates.