Speaking at a meeting of the House of Representatives on February 23, 2023, KP Sharma Oli, former prime minister, and the CPN (UML) chair, claimed that the Election Commission (EC), deemed a complaint against the candidacy of TV anchor-turned-politician Rabi Lamichhane invalid after an investigation. Oli made the statement following a Supreme Court verdict on Lamichhane’s citizenship status.
Did the Election Commission invalidate the complaint against Lamichhane’s candidacy after an investigation?
Nepal Check fact-checked the claim.
As per the schedule for the elections of the House of Representatives, Rabi Lamichhane registered his candidature for Chitwan district’s constituency No. 2 on October 9, 2022. On November 15, 2022, a complaint was filed at the offices of Election Commission (EC) demanding that his candidature be cancelled on the ground that he did not didn’t re-obtain Nepali citizenship after renouncing foreign citizenship.
After the complaint was filed, the EC sought an explanation from him within one week. The EC asked him to clarify over the complaint that he didn’t relinquish his Nepali citizenship even after receiving citizenship of a foreign country. Lamichhane submitted a written clarification to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Chitwan district on November 6, 2023. Citing confidentiality, he asked to open the clarification only at the EC head office in Kathmandu. Two days after the polls, he submitted a written explanation to the Chitwan office.
Here’s a timeline that covers the period between Lamichhane registering his candidacy and the court ruling.
October 9, 2022: Lamichhane registers his candidacy.
November 15, 2022: Complaint filed at the Election Commission demanding the annulment of his candidacy
November 16, 2022: The Election Commission asks for clarification about the question raised over his citizenship on November 16 and gives a seven-day deadline.
November 20, 2022: Nationwide polls for federal and provincial legislatures.
November 22, 2022: Lamichhane submits his explanation to the EC.
November 24, 2022: Election Commission announces the results of Chitwan constituency-2.
December 14, 2022: Petitioners file a writ petition against Lamichhane in the Supreme Court demanding his position as a member of parliament and president of Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RSP) be vacated.
January 27, 2023: Supreme Court annuls Lamichhane’s status as a lawmaker.
After receiving Lamichhane’s clarification, the EC decided not to act on it, arguing it was a legal matter. The writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court after the EC refrained from deciding on Lamichhane’s case.
Contrary to Oli’s claim, the EC didn’t investigate the complaint against Lamichhane. The EC also didn’t dismiss the complaint citing it was invalid.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|The Election Commission dismissed the complaint against Lamichhane’s candidacy after an investigation.||Former prime minister and CPN (UML) chair KP Sharma Oli||False|
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