Print Edition - 2016-12-24 | News
LLRC at a loose end as PM’s got a tight schedule
- Local level restructuring
- Yet to get an appointment to submit final report
Dec 24, 2016-
For a commission that was tasked with determining the number of units and boundaries of local units in the federal set-up, it has been hurry up and wait!
Despite constraints the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC) expedited its work to meet its mid-December deadline of finalising its report. But it has not been able to submit the report, as Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been too busy to arrange time for a meeting with the LLRC which has been seeking an appointment for the last one week.
On Tuesday, PM Dahal set off for Hilsa of Humla. On Wednesday, the day the LLRC had sought to meet PM Dahal, he flew to Surkhet before returning to the Capital. On Thursday, the prime minister was in Dhading and on Friday, he attended two prorammes in Gorkha and one in Kathmandu.
The LLRC report is a must for holding local elections under the new federal set-up under which the commission is learnt to have recommended 725 units across the country. At a time when Dahal’s government is planning to hold local elections by mid-April, the LLRC’s recommendation must be implemented so that polls under the new structure can be held.
Receiving LLRC’s report will mean new local units will come into force, as they will replace the existing local units (217 municipalities and 3,117 village development committees. Most of the programmes Dahal has attended of late have been inaugurations, something he had promised he would not do after he was elected the prime minister, and party trainings.
When asked, PM Dahal’s Chief Political Adviser Chakrapani Khanal said the Prime Minister’s Office has told the authorities that the ruling coalition was holding discussion regarding the LLRC report.
But what kind of discussion when the report is yet to be submitted?
Khanal would not
LLRC’s failure to submit the report despite its efforts has but stoked speculations whether the governing parties, or all major forces for that matter, are planning to conduct local level elections under the existing structure.
“The PMO has told LLRC officials ‘not to worry about the deadline’ because the commission still has two more months to submit its report,” said Khanal, but stopped short of explaining how elections will be possible in mid-April if the report is submitted after two months. The Election Commission has already made it clear that it will take at least 120 days—from the submission of the report on restructuring—to prepare for the elections. On top of that, the government is yet to bring election-related laws; bills are still pending in Parliament.
Amid this, election commissioners also have not been able to meet PM Dahal, according to sources.
The PMO had set a meeting with the Election Commission for Sunday, but it had to be cancelled “due to PM Dahal’s tight schedule”.
According to Election Commissioner Ila Sharma, the EC wants to meet PM Dahal to discuss whether the government is for holding local polls under the existing structure or new set-up. The EC also wants to brief the prime minister about its internal preparations.
Published: 24-12-2016 07:54