Monday Oct 3, 2022
Monday Oct 3, 2022

Nepalis abroad should be allowed to vote


Nepalnews
2022 Feb 14, 10:49, Kathmandu
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The Supreme court ordered to make voting arrangements for the Nepalis abroadThe stakeholders have also noted that it was feasible to enforce the Supreme Court order.

At a virtual policy dialogue series organized by Nepal Policy Institute (NPI) on Sunday, the stakeholders said the franchise right was possible for Nepali immigrants through the use of technology.

"Wherever they are, those having Nepali identity should be provided with voting rights. The Election Commission has already undertaken a study in this regard", said former Chief Election Commissioner Nilakantha Uprety.

He further said, "The court has issued an order to this effect but it has not been taken into action". Uprety opined that Nepali people residing outside the country can be included in voters' roll in coordination with the Election Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Image and biometrics are taken while issuing passports. These records are collected also in course of providing voter ID card", he further said, adding, "The Election Commission can obtain this information from the Foreign Ministry".

Associate Dean of Kathmandu University School of Management Prof Dr Achyut Wagle said franchise rights would continue to remain until and unless passport and citizenship are given up.

"There has been political maneuvering on the data of Nepali people residing abroad. It is stated that over four million people are residing outside which is a grave issue. This will adversely affect the management", Dr Wagle noted. "There is no source to support the data that four million Nepali people are living abroad", he added.

He further said the State has no option but to implement the court decision. "It may be noted that the court had issued an order to arrange voting right for the Nepali people residing abroad some four years ago. The Constitution has also not imposed any discrimination among the citizens. Now we are a technology-enabled world that does not distinguish any border. With the use of technology voting arrangements can be made easily", he emphasized.

NPI Chair Khagendra Dhakal also stressed the need to immediately enforce the apex court order in favor of Nepali immigrants who are the big contributors to the national economy.

"The Philippines, Mexico, and Indonesia have already granted voting rights to its citizens residing outside the country. We should also take this reference", he asserted.

Human rights advocate, Saru Joshi, who also moderated the event, also underscored the need to pile pressure on the political parties to get franchise right materialized for immigrants.

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Supreme Court Nepalis abroad Nepal Policy Institute Nepali immigrants Election Commission Ministry of foreign affairs Dr Achyut Wagle Human Rights
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