Court orders poll body not to give ‘arrow’ as election symbol to Kamal Thapa’s RPP-Nepal

The Supreme Court has issued an interlocutory interim order to the Election Commission not to implement the latter’s decision to provide “arrow” as the election symbol to Kamal Thapa’s Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal.

A single bench of Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla issued the order on Sunday responding to a petition filed by Thapa, chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal on Friday.

“Since the Supreme Court on July 24 has already issued an interim order to the Election Commission not to implement its July 11 decision, an interlocutory interim order has been issued in the name of the defendant [Election Commission] not to implement its August 24 decision to assign “arrow” as the election symbol to the petitioner [Thapa’s party] until discussions on the case are held,” states the order issued by the Supreme Court.

Given the urgency of the issue, the Supreme Court has already invited both the parties for discussion for Tuesday.

Thapa had moved the Supreme Court after the election body on July 11 decided that it cannot provide “cow” as election symbol to his party.

Thapa formed the RPP-Nepal after he lost the election for Rastriya Prajatantra Party chair to Rajendra Lingden in the party general convention last year. He had declared that he left the Lingden-led party on February 8 by issuing a press statement. Thapa became the chairman of the RPP-Nepal on February 14 after Lakpa Tamang, who had registered the party at the Election Commission, resigned from chair of the party.

On August 24, the Election Commission decided to provide “arrow” as election symbol to his party although the party had registered itself at the commission to contest the upcoming November 20 polls with “cow” as its election symbol.

After Monday’s court order, Thapa told the Post that the court had already said in its July 24 interim order that the Election Commission’s decision not to assign “cow” to the RPP-Nepal was not based on any law, so his party has been demanding that the election body should provide cow as election symbol to his party.

“However, on August 24 the Election Commission decided to assign “arrow” as the election symbol to our party ignoring our demand for a cow,” Thapa told the Post. “Then we again moved the Supreme Court.”

Thapa said he has registered his party in the Election Commission to contest the upcoming federal and provincial polls with “cow”as the election symbol since the Supreme Court’s order supports our claim.

Thapa, a long-time pro-Hindu and pro-monarchy leader, has abandoned the idea of restoring monarchy after he lost the contest for party chair to Lingden on December 5. He stood by the now deposed king Gyanendra when the latter hijacked democracy and assumed absolute power in 2005.

Thapa accused Gyanendra of conspiring to defeat him in the party contest.

“The Election Commission refused to give us our election symbol,” Thapa said. “But the court has ordered the election body not to provide the symbol ‘cow’ to any other party.”

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