BY RANJU KAFLE, Kathmandu, April 30: More than 4,000 candidates who had filed their nominations for several posts at various local levels across the country have withdrawn their candidacies.
The Election Commission Nepal (ECN) had provided time for the candidates to withdraw their nominations till 5 pm Friday. Shaligram Sharma Paudel, the spokesperson for the ECN, said that data collection was still going on.
“We do not have the complete data of withdrawals in our server. However, over 4,000 candidates had withdrawn their claims as of 7 pm today,” he said.
The legal provision grants time to the candidates who have registered their nominations on April 24 and 25 to quit the election process by Friday if they want. The Election Commission had a schedule to publish the final list of the candidates on Friday and provide election symbols to the candidates on Saturday.
However, the EC was unable to publish the final list of the candidates till Friday night. The local poll is all set to be held on May 13 to elect representatives at all 753 local levels. A chairperson, a deputy chairperson, ward chairmen and ward members will be elected from each local level. Altogether 153,145 candidates had filed their nominations for the election on April 24 and 25.
Meanwhile, according to our Chitwan correspondent, NC leader Jagannath Paudel denied withdrawing his candidacy for the post of mayor of the Bharatpur Metropolitan City. The Election Commission has provided till 5 pm Friday for the candidates to withdraw their candidacies.
Paudel did not withdraw his candidacy within the deadline although NC leader and Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand and State Minister Umesh Shrestha reached Bharatpur and stayed three days to convince Paudel to withdraw his candidacy. Paudel, a former lawmaker of the NC, fielded his candidacy as an independent candidate for the mayor revolting against the decision of the ruling parties to give the mayoral post to the Maoist Centre.
When the ruling alliance decided to field Renu Dahal of the Maoist Centre as a common mayoral candidate of the city, NC leaders in Chitwan opposed the decision and fielded Paudel as their
mayoral candidate. Home Minister Khand and State Minister Shrestha returned to Kathmandu on Friday. Before flying to Kathmandu, Home Minister Khand said at the Bharatpur airport that they put forth their and party’s views to the NC Chitwan leaders.
“We shared our and the party’s views. We also listened to our friends,” Minister Khand responded to journalists. “We still hope that the leaders will take a wise decision.”