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Nepal teams to study Thai, Philippine, Korea diaspora voting rights

Publication Date : 18-07-2012


The Election Commission (EC) of Nepal is sending three separate teams to Thailand, the Philippines and Korea to study how these countries have been providing voting rights to their diaspora, their legal provisions and complexities while providing voting rights to those away from home.

The teams led by senior EC officials will study into whether the Nepali diaspora can also be registered as voters and allowed to exercise their franchise.

According to EC Spokesperson Sharada Prasad Trital, a team led by EC Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav will leave for Thailand, while Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung will lead a team to the Philippines and EC Secretary Shankar Prasad Koirala will go to Korea with his delegation.

A maximum number of voters of the Philippines, Thailand and Korea stay out of the country during elections.

The study is supposed to end by mid-August.

A Cabinet meeting yesterday gave a nod to the study.

"It is a pre-voting exercise and will try to study the practices being adopted in countries where a large number of voters stay out of the country," Trital said.

The team will recommend the government on the financial and technical aspects as well.

According to the EC, Nepalis are living in 112 countries for education, employment and business. Most of them are said to be in Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Though there are no accurate figures of the Nepali diaspora, the Department of Foreign Employment says around 2 million have legally left for employment in other countries aside from India.

Tens of thousands of Nepalis are reportedly living abroad illegally, while the number of Nepali students in foreign universities is increasing by the year.


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