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Ballot paper printing for FPTP to start from Friday : CEC Yadav

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KATHMANDU  — Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhee Prasad Yadav has said that the printing of the ballot paper for the proportional representation (PR) system for the twin election was over while the printing of the ballot paper for the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system would start from today.

The election to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies are slated to take place on November 26 and December 7 respectively and in two rounds. The first round would be held in 32 districts while the second round in remaining 45 districts on December 7 this year.

At an orientation programme organized by ECN in Kathmandu today, Chief Commissioner Yadav reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to make preparations for the elections respecting the verdict of the Supreme Court.

According to him, holding the twin elections at a go was a Herculean task from both managerial and technical point of view but the Commission was committed to hold the elections after the request of the government.

He also informed that the nomination of the candidates for the first phase of election was already over and the candidates and parties were already awarded election symbols and the office of the Returning Officers for the second phase of elections were also set up.

“There was no confusion in election taking place on the stipulated time,” the Chief Election Commissioner said.

The Supreme Court’s verdict on holding election on the stipulated time, however, had not reached to the Commission’s office yet, according to him.

Yadav also instructed the security forces to ensure safety during the election and compliance with the electoral code of conduct.

Also speaking at the programme, Election Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Shah said that the national agenda for this year was to hold the election in a free and fair manner and to lay strong foundation for the new constitution to come into effect.

Shah also directed the concerned authority to put an end to the trend of electoral candidates renting the vehicles from the neighboring countries to mobilize them in the election publicity campaign.

Likewise, Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mohan Krishna Sapkota instructed the security bodies to ensure elections to be held in a free and fair manner as well as to make sure that the voters cast their ballot without fear.

Secretary at the ECN Begendra Raj Sharma underscored smooth coordination between the security bodies and the Commission.

Spokesperson at the ECN, Nawaraj Dhakal, shared that preparations for the elections was over by more than 75 per cent.

A total of 63 security officials from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Department of National Investigation were participating in the two-day trainers training on election security.

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Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage

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KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.

At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.

The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.

Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.

Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.

The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.

As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.

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