Election body to ask govt for polling date

  • To write to the Cabinet today to make matters clear

Feb 6, 2017-

In response to the government’s formal request to make preparations for the polls, the Election Commission will write to the Cabinet on Monday, asking the Maoist-Congress coalition to announce the date of local elections.

The government on Friday sent a letter to the election body, asking it to start preparations for the local polls. The EC meeting on the same day decided that the letter lacked clarity on the date and whether the elections would be held for the old or a new structure of the local bodies.

“The EC meeting on Sunday decided to ask the government to announce the polls at the earliest as the date is necessary for us to manage materials and human resource for the local polls,” said Gopi Nath Mainali, secretary at the EC. “We will send the letter on Monday to the Cabinet through the Home Ministry.”

The election authority also decided to present its operational plan for holding the local level elections to the government. According to the EC, the plan was prepared with an assumption that the local polls would be held on May 15 and June 3 in two phases.

In its letter, the Cabinet stopped short of the announcing the date as the Madhes-based parties are opposed to holding the local elections without amending the constitution. They have also warned of boycotting and disrupting the polls.

The government also formed a taskforce headed by Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Hitraj Pande to study the report of the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC). This may cause further delay in announcing the elections.

Govinda Acharya, press advisor to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, told the Post that the government plans to announce the polls only after the taskforce submits its report. The Cabinet on Thursday gave it two weeks to conduct a study and submit its report. The Madhes-based parties have rejected the LLRC recommendations saying that they were prepared without consulting with them.

The EC has decided to ask the government for the local level restructuring report for preparing voter lists and designating the election centres. Currently, the voter lists and election centres have been arranged for the existing structure of the Village Development Committees and municipalities.

The constitutional commission also decided to seek funds from the government necessary for holding the elections. “We may conclude estimating the cost for holding the local elections by Monday evening,” said Secretary Mainali.

Published: 06-02-2017 07:55

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