PM Dahal says local elections by mid-May

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
I will declare poll dates soon even if my decision fails to please everyone-PM Dahal

Jan 23, 2017-Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said local level elections could be held between May 8 and May 13 and that dates would be announced by January 28 in consultation with the Election Commission. 

PM Dahal made the announcement during a book launch programme in the Capital on Sunday, a day after three major parties agreed to get poll laws endorsed at the earliest and hold polls by mid-May.

“As a leader of a party that is signatory to the peace process, I must take bold decisions. This time as well I am ready to make some bold moves,” said PM Dahal while launching a book—Sansadiya Patrakarita—published by Journalists Society for Parliamentary Affairs. 

Though he would not say how he is going to deal with the Madhes-based parties that have been saying they will not participate in the elections until the constitution amendment bill is endorsed, PM Dahal dropped a hint that his government could push for elections even if the agitating forces continued to stick to their position.

“I will declare poll dates soon even if my decision fails to please everyone,” said PM Dahal. 

The EC recently said that all poll-related laws must be in place if the local elections were to be held by May. 

Five election-related bills are currently with the State Affairs Committee of the Legislature-Parliament.

Issues related to threshold, registration of party and auditing are also yet to be finalised. 

On the constitution amendment bill, the prime minister said that there were three alternatives to address the issue—consensus among all the parties for the amendment, a package deal which will comprise other political issues and registering another amendment proposal in Parliament. 

“These alternatives were floated during Saturday’s meeting,” said PM Dahal. 

The main opposition CPN-UML, which has been pressing the government to declare poll dates, has been demanding that the government withdraw the constitution amendment bill, while the agitating Madhes-based parties have warned against elections until the amendment bill is passed in Parliament.

Published: 23-01-2017 07:56

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