Ceiling of Rs 1.4m proposed for candidates in federal parliamentary elections

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The Election Commission has proposed a ceiling of Rs 1.40 million for candidates contesting the upcoming federal parliamentary elections under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.

The ceiling of expenditure has been reached at by mainly taking the number of voters, market price of campaign materials and inflation into consideration, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Ayodhi Prasad Yadav told the leaders the commission had summoned at the Election premises on Thursday to discuss election expenses.

Clause 24 of the Election Commission Act 2017 has the provision allowing the Election Commission to set ceiling for election expenses by the candidates. The ceiling was Rs 1 million during the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election held in 2013.

The ceiling has been increased as the geographical area and population of the constituencies both have increased with the number of electoral constituencies reduced to 165 from 240 in the last election, according to the Election Commission.  

CEC Yadav told the leaders that a rational ceiling can be decided on the basis of recommendations by the political parties.

The leaders, on their part, advised the Election Commission to determine a practical ceiling for expenses. Nepali Congress (NC) leader Minendra Rizal said the party is not in favor of high election expenses and advised the Election Commission to also pay special attention toward implementation of the ceiling for expenses.

CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel also urged the commission to set a practical and natural ceiling. Nava Raj Subedi of Naya Shakti Nepal said the party favors the provision allowing the parties to spend in proportion to the votes they secure.

Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party said the party's attention has been seriously drawn toward exorbitant expenses by candidates and parties.

The first phase of election for federal and provincial assemblies will be held in  32 districts on November 26 and the second phase in 45 districts on December 7.

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