Social media users have posted video clips with claims that Arzu Rana Deuba, a central member of the Nepali Congress, was elected Member of Parliament through proportional representation under the remote area cluster. On December 11, TikTok user ‘@ashajoshi16’ posted a video featuring a screenshot of Rana Deuba’s photo. “Is there anyone representing remote areas as she is?” the caption asks. “Lajneeti (Shameful politics). She has become an MP in the remote area.” The posts garnered over 32,000 views as of January 4, 2023.
Twitter user ‘@realArzun1’ also posted a photo of Sher Bahadur Deuba and Arzu Rana Deuba with a similar claim on January 3. “Congratulations on becoming an MP under proportional representation from a remote area,” the user tweeted, referring to a function at the prime minister’s residence to congratulate new MPs of the Nepali Congress. The post has received more than 16,000 views and has been retweeted 41 times as of writing this piece. Twitter handle ‘@nonotagainnepal’ also shared the claim.
Nepal Check fact-checked the claims.
Political parties participating in elections must submit a closed list to the Election Commission before the polls to elect their candidates using a proportional electoral method. They must reveal which clusters to which the candidates belong. The candidates are nominated under six inclusive groups: Khas-Arya, Adivasi-Janajati, Dalit, Tharu, Muslim, and Madhesi. Half of the nominees must be women. In addition, if the name of a candidate is recommended from a remote area, individuals with disabilities or minorities, it shall be revealed under the topic: additional identification.
After parties submit their closed list under the proportional representation system, the Election Commission publishes information about the candidates, their clusters, and any additional identification, if applicable.
We first looked at the closed list submitted by the parties to the Election Commission. Arzu Rana Deuba’s name appeared in the closed list provided by the Nepali Congress under the Khas-Arya (Women) cluster. Then, we examined the list of elected legislators using the Election Commission’s proportional election system. In the details issued by the EC, Rana Deuba’s name was listed under Khas-Arya (Women) in the list of Nepali Congress MPs elected.
The Nepali Congress had nominated three women for the Khas Arya Women and Remote Area cluster. Two women–Kantika Sejuwal (Jumla) and Maina Rawal Karki (Jajarkot)–were elected under the cluster.
We also spoke to Guru Prasad Wagle, the EC’s Deputy Attorney General, who said that to be nominated for an MP under the proportional representation system from a remote area, it must be disclosed as a remote area. “To be elected from a remote area under the PR system, the person should be identified as one from a remote area in the closed list. In the absence of the disclosure, we can not identify such MPs as those elected from remote areas,” Wagle said. “Also, Dadeldhura district isn’t classified as a remote area.”
The proportional representation system–designed to ensure the representation of people from marginalised and underrepresented communities–has been criticised for the abuse of quotas by influential party leaders who have nominated relatives or people with vested interests in various categories.
Nepal Check concludes that the claim that Arzu Rana Deuba was elected an MP from the remote area category is false. She represents the Khas-Arya (Women) cluster under the proportional representation system.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|Arzu Rana Deuba was elected an MP in the remote area cluster in the PR system||Social media users||False|
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