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NC, Maoist Centre for holding local elections in Feb-March

- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Jul 28, 2016-

The Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre) on Wednesday agreed on a tentative plan to hold local body elections by February-March. The two parties have also urged all major forces, including the Madhes-based parties and the CPN-UML, to come to consensus on the matter.

A meeting of the two parties decided to conduct the elections of local bodies by practically settling issues related to number and boundaries of village and municipal councils. 

Top leaders of both the parties also consented to bringing other political forces on board before announcing the dates for local elections.

The government in mid-June had announced that local body polls would be held in November. But the NC and the Maoist Centre had insisted on settling demarcation of provincial boundaries, completing restructuring of local bodies and addressing the grievances of the agitating Madhes-based parties before holding the polls.

A local body restructuring commission, formed in March under government Secretary Balananda Paudel to determine the number and borders of village and municipal councils, has until March to submit its report.

“Talks about local body elections are still in the initial phase. We will soon hold 

further discussions on the matter with the UML and the Madhes-based forces,” said NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi who was present at Wednesday’s meeting. 

“We want to hold preliminary talks to assist the local body restructuring commission with its report. We will soon hold consultation with other forces as well.” 

According to Nidhi, the NC and the Maoist Centre have also agreed to carve out village and municipal councils in such a way that all the citizens can easily avail themselves of services provided by the local bodies.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and leaders Ram Chandra Poudel, Prakash Man Singh and Nidhi and Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Barshaman Pun among others were present at Wednesday’s meeting. 

The NC on Tuesday had held internal discussion regarding the prospects of local body elections.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Monday gave political parties represented in Parliament a week’s time to form a consensus government, but the NC and the Maoist Centre have already reached an agreement to form a majority government under the leadership of Maoist Centre Chairman Dahal. 

 

We are ready, provided that there are laws in place: EC

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said on Wednesday that the Election Commission “is ready to hold all the three elections, provided that there are laws and by-laws in place”.

Speaking at a programme in the Capital, Yadav underlined the importance of all three elections to strengthen democracy. As per constitutional provisions, the country needs to hold local, provincial and federal parliament elections in the next 18 months. “We will be more than happy to hold polls whenever asked, as these elections are a must to strengthen multi-party democracy,” said Yadav.

The Local Body Poll Act, which is key to holding local body elections, is yet to get the Cabinet nod. Once it is approved by the Cabinet, Parliament needs to endorse the Act for it to come into effect. (PR) 

Published: 28-07-2016 08:31

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