Polls impossible if date not fixed within a week, says Shrestha

- Post Report, Kathmandu
PM’s press adviser Govinda Acharya says government would set the date only after endorsing essential election-related bills

Jan 21, 2017- A senior leader of the prime minister’s party has claimed that the elections will not be possible before monsoon if the date is not announced within a week.

“The failure to declare the election date within a week would mean the government is not for timely elections,” CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha told the Post.
There is a constitutional obligation to complete three layers of elections within 
a year. The Election Commission has said it needs at least four months to prepare for the planned local level elections.
Shrestha said Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was preparing to announce the date within a week. But PM’s press adviser Govinda Acharya said the government would set the date only after endorsing essential election-related bills. “The government is preparing to announce the date by January 28,” Acharya said.
Shrestha said the government will have ample time to endorse the constitution amendment bill tabled in Parliament even after announcing the polls.
About the government’s preparations to make the Bijay Kumar Gachhadar-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik and the Kamal Thapa-headed Rastriya Prajatantra Party governing allies, PM’s chief political adviser Chakrapani Khanal said Gachhadar’s issue was with the Madhesi Morcha while Thapa’s party had its own agendas to address.
On the other hand, top Madhesi leaders have urged the government to keep the poll plans on hold until the CPN-UML comes to consensus on constitution amendment.
“If the UML is desperate for elections, it will be obliged to support the bill. The government need not be in a hurry to announce the poll date as it’s not possible,” said Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato.
Madhesi parties said the plan to announce election keeping the amendment bill on hold would encourage the main opposition to mount an attack against the bill.
Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said going for local elections keeping the disputed issues on hold would be premature, which the regional parties would strongly resist.
“We have clearly told the governing parties that going to the elections without resolving the crisis would push the country towards confrontation. The constitution should be amended first,” said Yadav.

Published: 21-01-2017 07:51

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