Consultation Meeting with Election Commission Nepal
Published on: August 16, 2022
A consultation meeting with the chief election commissioner was held under the leadership of CIL Kathmandu at the office of the election commission on August 11, 2022. The interaction focused on the representation, electoral candidacy, inclusion, and easy access of persons with disabilities in the electoral process.
During the consultation, the president of CIL Kathmandu handed a memorandum comprising the review of existing acts and recommendations on the election for future amendments which included the provisions for proportionate representation of PWDs and compulsory submission of Disability Identity cards while preparing the closed list of candidates. The distinguished delegates from the major organizations of diverse disabilities also highlighted the specific challenges/concerns for and during the election. Tika Dahal- President of Nepal Disabled Women Association added that out of 33% of women’s reservations, representation from PWDs women is needed to be specified. Nita Keshari Bhattrai from the Shruti organization mentioned, “During the making of information regarding election she suggested to add captioning and sign language”. Sugam Bhattrai, treasurer of Nepal association of Blind added, “printing of identifiable color and image of the ballot paper”. Parbat Raj Bista – secretary of NFDN Bagmati – suggested the provision to permit the desired person as voting assistance for a person with severe disabilities like the visually Impaired. Kiran Shilpakar, president of the National Association of Physical Disabled- Nepal, advocated for accessible polling stations and offices.
Later the commissioner responded with a positive remark reassuring immediate correction of certain hurdles like the provision of the compulsive election of persons with disabilities, development of model accessible voting centers (booths), using appropriate and respectful dictions, etc.
The commissioner empathized with the issues raised and promised to make the whole process of election representative and inclusive for all including people with disabilities. Such fruitful interaction would be a benchmark in making the election and political arena inclusive for persons with disabilities as expressed by the president of the National Federation of Disabled Nepal in his concluding remark, he further added that the PWDs be included in the policy-making level of the election commission as the PWDs are neglected by the political forces.