PM proposes local polls by mid-April

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Dec 1, 2016-

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has proposed to hold local level elections by mid-April.

PM Dahal’s proposal on Wednesday came a day after the government registered a constitution amendment bill and hours after the main opposition CPN-UML’s decision to counter the bill from the streets and Parliament. 

A Parliamentary Party meeting of the UML on Wednesday decided to obstruct Parliament as part of its plan to block the amendment bill. During a four-party meeting at the residence of Speaker Onasari Gharti, PM Dahal said, “The government has already started preparations for local level elections.” 

The meeting was attended by top leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Centre) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party.

During the meeting, PM Dahal also sought support from the parties for holding the local level elections. 

According to NC leader Ram Sharan Mahat, who was present in the meeting, the governing parties floated the idea of holding elections of the existing local bodies if the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC) fails to complete its task. The UML has agreed to the idea, he said. 

The UML leaders present in the meeting, however, asked the government to first withdraw the amendment bill before making election plans. 

“We are ready for elections. But the government, it seems, is trying to shift the blame on the UML in the event of its failure to hold the polls,” said UML leader Agni Kharel. He said that the UML during the meeting suggested that the government should concentrate on constitution implementation and elections rather than pushing for constitution amendment. UML leaders also urged PM Dahal to expedite the process to endorse election-related laws. 

According to senior Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, PM Dahal told UML leaders that their plan to obstruct the House would affect the process of endorsing election-related laws. 

PM Dahal on Wednesday also met LLRC Chairman Balananda Poudel and enquired about the progress made so far. 

PM Dahal is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha on Thursday to seek its support for holding elections. 

Published: 01-12-2016 07:59

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