Small number of female winners emerging


Kathmandu, Nov. 26: The country has again not seen enough female leaders elected to the House of Representatives under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system 

as vote counting results continue to come out. 

When altogether 165 members are elected under the FPTP system and 110 under the Proportional Representation system in the 275-member House of Representatives only seven women candidates were elected from across the country as of Friday evening, according to the Election Commission. Three others are leading in vote counting.

Two women leaders were elected to the HoR from the opposition CPN-UML while one is leading in vote count. 

Bidya Bhattarai, Juli Kumari Mahato and Jwala Kumari Shah of CPN-UML were elected from Kaski-2, Dhanusa-3 and Bara-3 respectively.  

UML’s Bhagwati Chaudhary has been leading in the vote count from Sunsari-3. 

Likewise, two women were elected from the newly formed Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) while one is leading. Toshima Karki has been elected after defeating sitting minister Pampha Bhusal in Lalitpur-3. 

Similarly, Sobita Gautam of the RSP defeated the first female speaker of the HoR Onsari Gharti Magar in Kathmandu-2. Similarly, RSP candidate Goma Tamang is leading in the vote count from Sunsari-1. 

However, no woman from the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) has succeeded in making to the HoR under the FPTP system although one of its candidates, Sita Gurung, is leading in vote count from Terhathum.  

Similarly, Rekha Sharma is the only woman candidate to get elected from the ruling partner CPN (Maoist Centre). Sharma won by defeating powerful general secretary of the CPN UML and former chief minister of Lumbini province from Dang-1 

Only 25 women from the ruling alliance led by NC and the opposition alliance led by UML have contested the election to the HoR under FPTP system. Altogether 2,412 candidates have contested the HoR election under FPTP electoral system. Of them 2,187 were males and 225 females. 

The UML had fielded 11 female candidates in the election to the HoR, CPN (Maoist Centre) seven, NC five, CPN (Unified Socialist) and Rastriya Janamorcha one each.

However, the number of women representatives elected through directed election has slightly increased compared to the last election held in 2017 and big comedown from the time of the first Constituent Assembly (CA) election held in 2008.

In 2017, only six female candidates were elected to HoR under the FPTP category, while 30 women were elected to HoR in first CA election and 10 in second CA election held in 2013. 

As per the Article 84(8) of the Constitution of Nepal, at least one third of the total members elected from each political party represented in the federal parliament should be women. 

Earlier, during the interview with The Rising Nepal, published on Novemeber 11, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya had assured that the Election Commission will take necessary steps to make the law that ensures this happens.

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