Phase II local polls to be held on June 28

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The government says the decision to reschedule polls was taken after members of the Muslim community drew its attention to the Ramadan festival they are observing

May 31, 2017-A day after the government said it would hold the second phase of local elections on June 23, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi told the Post on Tuesday that elections are set to be rescheduled for June 28 and that the Cabinet would take a decision to this effect on Wednesday.

“The government has taken the request from the Muslim community seriously,” said Nidhi. “June 23 is Friday and it is a religious day for the members of the Muslim community. Also, that will be the last Friday for the month of Ramadan. Holding elections on that day could cause inconvenience to them. Taking these factors into consideration, the government has decided to reschedule the polls for June 28.”

A Muslim delegation on Tuesday had called on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to draw his attention to the Ramadan festival Muslims are observing and the inconvenience they could face if elections were held on June 23.

PM Dahal is learnt to have admitted the oversight on his government’s part while rescheduling the elections from June 14 to June 23 and assured that he would do the needful to address the Muslim community’s concern.

Earlier on Tuesday, PM Dahal had held a meeting with Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav and election commissioners. During the meeting, top EC officials are learnt to have said it would be impossible to hold elections beyond June 28, as June 29 (Asar 15) is observed as National Paddy Day

When asked whether the government had taken into consideration the monsoon season while fixing the poll date for June 28, DPM Nidhi said: “We also held consultation with the weather office and officials told us that there won’t be much of difference in holding the elections on June 23 or June 28.”

A statement by the EC issued after Tuesday’s meeting confirmed the government’s decision to reschedule the elections for June 28.

The move to reschedule poll date is aimed at bringing the agitating Madhes-based parties on board the election process.

Published: 31-05-2017 08:31

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