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UPDATED: 13:16, June 15, 2007
Bill for Nepali constituent assembly poll passed
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Nepali Interim Parliament Thursday univocally endorsed "the Constituent Assembly Members' Elections Bill", local newspaper The Rising Nepal reported on Friday.

The Bill adopts a mixed electoral system, 240 seats for first- past-the-post and 240 seats for proportional representation system for the upcoming Constituent Assembly election at the end of this year. The remaining 17 seats, to take the total in parliament to 497, will be nominated by the Prime Minister, as per cabinet decision.

For first-past-the-post method, voters will have to cast ballots for their preferred candidate fielded by respective political parties.

Under the proportional representation system, following enforcement of the bill, voters will have to cast ballots to a certain political party assuming the whole country as a single constituency. The parties will be allotted seats at the constituent assembly based on the total votes they poll in the countrywide elections.

The parties should present their candidates in their lists upholding the principle of proportional representation of six categories. Among the categories, women are allocated 50 percent, Madhesi 31.2 percent, Dalit (belonging to lower caste) 13 percent, indigenous and ethnic 37.8 percent, backward area 4 percent and other 30.2 percent.

However, the total percentage comes to more than 100 as some of the candidates may represent from more than one category or group.

Madhesi people are always referred to the people mainly living in south Nepal's Terai plains with Indian origin.

Acham, Kalikot, Jajarkot, Jumla, Dolpa, Bajhang, Bajura, Mugu and Humla districts are taken as left behind areas.

The enacted Bill also includes provision whereby those who occupied political positions during last year's "The People's Movement" which ended King Gyanendra's direct rule and who have been named as suppressers of "The People's movement" will be barred from taking part in the CA elections.

Source: Xinhua

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