Sub-panel for further deliberation

  • fixing election date
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 19, 2017-The sub-committee under the State Affairs Committee of Parliament on Wednesday decided to hold discussions with the political parties on who should announce the election date as the lawmakers on the panel failed to reach consensus on the matter.

The lawmakers have been exploring three options—the government to declare the poll date in consultation with the Election Commission (EC), the election body to announce the poll date in consultation with the government and the fixing the date in the law itself.

Ananda Prasad Dhungana, coordinator of the sub-committee, told the Post that they had finalised almost all issues of the Bill on Election Commission except for who should hold the right to fix the poll date. “With the lawmakers failing to reach a consensus, we have decided to discuss further with the political parties on this issue,” said Dhungana, adding that the sub-committee has authorised him to consult with party leaders. 

The EC had claimed that it held the right to fix the poll date while submitting the draft of the Bill to Amend and Integrate Laws Related to the Election Commission, but the government denied it while registering the bill in Parliament.

During discussions, the lawmakers, however, raised concerns over a scenario where the EC fails to announce the election date after the prime minister dissolves Parliament without declaring the poll date. Nepal has the tradition of the PM also declaring the date of next election while dissolving Parliament.

Regarding the option of mentioning the date in the law, the lawmakers saw complications. “As the polls can be held in different phases based on situations, declaring the poll date in the law may not be practical,” said Dhungana, referring to feedback received from the lawmakers.

The sub-committee remains undecided on two other issues: whether to allow EC to mobilise foreign assistance directly and establish direct relations with the Prime Minister’s Office like other constitutional bodies, according to lawmakers. 

Published: 19-01-2017 08:06

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