Ilam-2 by-election sans women candidates


April 7, 2024


Ilam-2 by-election sans women candidates

National Women Commission/File photo.

ILAM: Friday, the day for registering nominations for the April 27 House of Representatives (HoR) by-polls in Ilam constituency 2 ended with the registrations of 20 candidacies.

However, to the disappointment of many, there were no women among the candidates.

Out of the 20 candidates, 12 are affiliated with various political parties, while the remaining eight are independent candidates.

They arrived at the Office of the Chief Election Officer in a celebratory manner, accompanied by musical performances.

The absence of female candidates in the electoral race has drawn criticism from the women’s community, particularly from rights activists.

Gayatri Thegim, a women’s rights activist based in Ilam, expressed her disappointment, stating that the lack of female participation reflects a shadow on the agenda of women’s leadership.

Bhima Siwakoti, an activist from neighboring Jhapa, voiced her concerns, stating that while women’s rights are guaranteed just on paper, they are not upheld in practice.

She is worried about the de facto political exclusion of women.

However, the absence of women in the nominations does not imply a lack of aspiration among them to participate in the electoral process.

It suggests they have been hindered from seizing this opportunity, according to Siwakoti,
Among the registered candidates are Suhang Nembang, the common candidate of the CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Centre) alliance, Dambar Bahadur Khadka of Nepali Congress, Milan Limbu of Rastriya Swatantra Party, Prem Bahadur Limbu of the Janamat Party, and Shyam Bahadur Darji of the Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party.

Additionally, Mani Bahadur Limbu of Mangol National Organization, Dhanraj Rana Magar of National Republic Nepal, Laxmi Gurung of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Jit Bahadur Rai of CPN (Unified Socialist), Jayawant Bikram Shah from National Liberation Movement Nepal, Ganesh Bahadur Chauhan of RPP Nepal, and Resham Bahadur Sunar Nepali of Nepal Janata Dal have also filed nominations.

The independent candidates include Dak Prasad Gautam, Manoj Niraula, Arjun Kumar Shahi, Keshab Kumar Chapagain, Dipesh Bohora, Yogendra Gurung, Raj Basyal and Dakendra Singh Thegim representing Pahichanbadi (pro-identity group), according to the Office of the Election Officer.

The Election Commission has announced that April 9 is the day for publishing the final list of candidates and allocating election symbols to them. The by-election will take place across 79 polling stations and 149 polling centers from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The demise of CPN-UML Vice Chair Subas Chandra Nembang representing Ilam -2 in HoR on September 12, 2023, mandated the EC to go for the by-election in the constituency.