CPN-UML irked at poll delay

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 15, 2017-

CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday ripped into the government, charging it with maintaining blithe indifference to the looming constitutional crisis that the country could face in the event of failure to hold three tiers of elections by January 21 next year. 

During a standing committee meeting of the party at his residence in Balkot, the former prime minister accused the government of not doing anything to ensure three elections by the constitutional deadline.

Oli has long been pressing the government to declare dates for local elections. 

Despite his promise to announce dates, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has not been able to do so, due largely to pressure from the Madhes-based parties which have said they will not participate in polls until the constitution is amended. 

A constitution amendment bill, tabled by the government on January 8, continues to languish in Parliament, with Oli’s party vehemently standing against it.

Caught between the UML and the Madhes-based parties, the government is scrambling to find a way out, and amid this, President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday invited top leaders of political parties, including Dahal and Oli, at Sheetal Niwas and prodded them to hold polls on time. 

At Tuesday’s standing committee meeting, the UML decided to press the government to create a conducive environment for polls. 

UML leader Yogesh Bhattarai said the meeting dwelt on polls and concluded that three levels of elections must be conducted by November. “All the activities of the government in recent days are nothing but a ploy not to let elections happen,” Bhattarai quoted Oli as saying during the meeting.

The UML of late has been holding discussions with the Madhes-based parties as well.

 Even if a result is far-fetched, the initiative to reach out to the Madhes-based parties, the UML’s bête noire until recently, must be taken as a positive, leaders from both the UML and the Morcha have conceded. 

“The UML is for taking all the political parties towards elections and therefore the party leaders have been discussing informally with the leaders of the Madhesi Morcha at various levels,” said Bhattarai. “There is no alternative to elections.”

Published: 15-02-2017 08:14

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