National

EC move can ruin poll environment: Thapa

  • Objects to removal of ‘Hindu state’, ‘monarchy’ from his party statute
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Mar 19, 2017-A sitting minister on Saturday warned that the Election Commission (EC) decision of striking down parts of his party statute can have serious implications and could ruin the environment for local level elections.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Kamal Thapa said on Saturday that the EC decision of striking down “Hindu state” and “monarchy” rendered the statute of his party, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, meaningless. 

Stating that parts of the RPP statute that called for reviving Nepal as a Hindu state and democracy with space for monarchy contravened the constitutional provisions of secularism and republican order, the EC on Friday struck them down. 

“We will take to the streets if the EC fails to withdraw its decision,” said Thapa while addressing a press meet organised in the Capital to make public his party’s electoral symbol “cow” on Saturday. 

“These are the essence of our party, that’s why we included them in the preamble and objectives of our statute. Our party objects to such a move that tries to negate the fundamental principle of a party.”

The minister was of the view that the EC move was objectionable as it was inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution that guarantees freedom of expression and allows a party to advocate its agenda. 

Urging the EC to correct its decision, Thapa asked: “Can the Election Commission remove communism from the statutes of communist parties including the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), which also contravenes the constitution?”

Warnings against elections from Thapa following the EC decision against his party’s statute on Saturday come days after he joined the government saying. “RPP leaders are joining the government to ensure timely elections,” the party had said in a statement then. Thapa, along with two RPP leaders, joined the Pushpa Kamal Dahal on March 9. 

Meanwhile, the RPP has decided to register an amendment proposal in Parliament seeking to reinstate Nepal as Hindu state and scrap the constitutional provision of secularism. 

An “emergency meeting” of the central committee of the party held on Saturday also decided to picket district election offices for an hour and hand over a memorandum to district election officers on Monday to pile pressure on the EC to withdraw its Friday’s decision. 

In Kathmandu, the party has decided to submit a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav after staging an hour-long sit-in in front of the EC office. The RPP has also decided to launch nationwide peaceful street protests from March 28 to demand Nepal as a Hindu state. 

Party members on Saturday evening held torch rallies to protest against the EC move. The party has said it will seek legal remedy as the EC move violated its constitutional right to exercise freedom of expression.

Published: 19-03-2017 08:23

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