Pun calls for polls in package

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 5, 2016-

Amid increased debate over a national unity government and local elections in November/ December, a senior member of the ruling coalition has described the idea to hold local elections in the government-announced date as an “unrealistic approach”. 

“Elections should be held in a ‘package’ next spring under a national unity government,” Barshaman Pun, a senior leader of the CPN (Maoist Centre), said in an interview with the Post on Saturday, implying that both local and provincial elections should be held together.

“The new roadmap for implementing the constitution should revolve around ‘elections in a package’—for restructured local bodies, provinces and Federal Parliament all at once—under a national unity government,” said Pun.

Pun, who has of late been vocal about issues of government change, argued that once a national unity government is formed, it would “successfully address” the concerns raised by the Madhes-based parties, clearing the hurdles in the Tarai for holding the polls. “There are challenges to hold elections, especially in the Madhes and earthquake-affected areas,” said Pun. “It is not a good idea to go to polls while people are still living in makeshift tents.”

Calling on parties to work together to expedite post-quake reconstruction, Pun said the parties need to make concerted efforts to resolve the Madhes crisis at the earliest. 

“By next spring, the commission formed to restructure the provincial and local bodies would also complete its job. This would create the perfect setting for polls,” Pun added. “Holding national, provincial and local elections within one year would be one of the key mandates of the national consensus government which is on the cards,” added Pun, who is considered close to Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. “Moreover, the national consensus government should focus on development and economic transformation as the phase of political transition has come to an end with the promulgation of the new constitution.” 

According to Pun, the Maoist Centre will strongly raise the issues of national consensus government after holding consultations with other parties in the ruling coalition and the opposition. 

The full version of the interview will be published on Monday.

Published: 05-06-2016 07:46

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