Monday, 19 September 2016

Govt will fix local poll date soon: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Posted by Anup Baral September 20, 2016 : Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has announced that the government would fix the date for local-level elections soon. He said holding local elections had become urgent and that the government would concentrate all its efforts on realizing this agenda without any further delay. “The government in consultation with the Election Commission will soon announce the date for local elections,” the prime minister said while addressing a special function organized to mark the first anniversary of the promulgation of the constitution at the Nepal Army Pavilion in Kathmandu on Monday. Dahal said the government has been putting all efforts to create a political environment conducive for holding local elections. He said that the government has been working in coordination with the commission formed to fix the number of boundaries of local units in federal structure and that the commission has been asked to complete its task and submit the report to the government at the earliest. “The constitution has assigned a very important and mandatory task to us, which is to hold local, provincial and federal elections by January 21, 2018,” said Dahal. “These three elections will prove to be milestone in implementing the constitution and institutionalizing and strengthening federalism.” He urged all the political parties to rise above partisan interests when it comes to working on a sensitive issue like elections. He claimed that the government has put all efforts for formulating necessary laws and establish institutional structures needed to hold elections.
The previous government led by CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli had announced to hold local election in November. While forming the new coalition led by Dahal, his party UCPN (Maoist Center) and Nepali Congress reached an understanding to hold local polls by mid-April. However, holding local elections has become further challenging as the Madhes-based regional parties and some other groups have protested against holding local elections without first settling the disputes of provincial boundaries. It has become challenging also because the commission to fix the number and boundaries of local units is in the midst of coping with its daunting task. Yet another challenge for holding local elections is lack of necessary laws. Commissioners at the EC have repeatedly made it clear that the government must formulate all the necessary election laws four months ahead of the election date. The prime minister during his speech also described the recent decision to transform the appellate courts into high courts as important achievement in the course of implementing constitution and the federal system.

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