Subcommittee agrees on key provision

Lawmakers have reached an agreement to have a provision that ensures elections to local councils will be held two months prior to expiry of the existing local bodies’ tenure

Feb 1, 2017-To avoid democratic deficit in future, lawmakers have agreed to amend the Bill on Local Election Procedure Act so as to ensure that local elections are held before the existing local bodies’ term expires.

Local level elections were last held in the country in 1997. Following the dissolution of local units by the then Sher Bahadur Deuba government in July 2002, they have remained without elected representatives. 

Lawmakers of a subcommittee under the State Affairs Committee (SAC) of Parliament on Tuesday reached an agreement to have a provision in the bill to ensure that elections to local councils are held two months prior to expiry of the existing local bodies’ tenure. 

“The new officer bearers will assume office a day after the existing local bodies’ term expires,” Ananda Dhungana, coordinator of the subcommittee, said of the agreement reached among lawmakers. “This will ensure that there will never be a vacuum; local bodies will never remain without elected representatives.”

The absence of people’s representatives has been blamed for gross irregularities at the local level. Development works too have been stalled. The so-called all-party mechanism, which is tasked with overseeing local level affairs, has been serving as a playing field for powerful parties, where corruption thrives. 

Rameshwor Phuyal, who had sought an amendment to the bill seeking this particular provision, described Tuesday’s agreement as a progressive move.

Published: 01-02-2017 07:49

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