Prez prods parties to push for polls

  • Sounds a word of warning about looming constitutional crisis
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Feb 14, 2017-

President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday sounded a word of warning about the possible constitutional crisis, as she prodded top leaders to find a way out to resolve the outstanding political issues. 

At a meeting in Sheetal Niwas, the Head of State reminded leaders of seven major parties of the constitutional obligation of holding three tiers of elections by January 21.

“I don’t need to shed more light on the fact that local, provincial and federal parliament elections must be held by January 21 next year,” President Bhandari told the leaders. “The responsibility of holding these elections has not emerged only lately. This is a constitutional provision that was finalised at the time of the promulgation of the constitution,” she said, adding: “There is no alternative to elections. Periodic elections are citizens’ right.”

Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Kamal Thapa, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Co-chairman Rajendra Shrestha, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik Chairman Bijay Gachhadar and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur were present in the meeting.

President Bhandari’s reminder comes amid political inertia that is clouding the possibility of three elections by the constitutional deadline. 

The government has not been able to announce dates for local level elections, while the main opposition has been continuously pressing for the same. 

The Madhes-based parties on the other hand have said they will not participate in elections without an amendment to the constitution, something the UML has vehemently opposed.

Hence, there is a deadlock.

The President’s meeting with major political players on Monday comes amid her expedited talks with leaders of late. 

Published: 14-02-2017 08:22

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