Governing parties’ renewed calls cut no ice with Morcha

- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu

Mar 1, 2017-Hours after turning down the governing parties’ call to participate in local level elections set for May 14, the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, said on Tuesday that its stance remains the same: constitution amendment before polls.

Earlier in the morning, the governing CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress held a meeting with the Madhes-based parties to convince them to take part in elections. 

“We firmly believe that the constitution amendment bill should be passed before local polls. That’s our only priority right now. Any discussion about elections without amending the constitution is but a futile exercise,” said Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato after the Morcha’s meeting held at the office of Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party in 

Bijuli Bazaar later in the afternoon. 

Despite the fact that the Pushpa Kamal Dahal government was formed with the promise that it would address the Morcha’s demand of constitution amendment, the governing parties have pushed for local level elections without amending the constitution, leaving the Madhes-based parties seething. 

The Morcha, however, has been insisting that the government should rather hold provincial and federal elections—some time later after settling the issues related to the constitution amendment.  Local polls can be held later, Morcha leaders said. 

“The provincial governments, not the central government, should hold local polls. The constitution has clearly mentioned that local polls come under the jurisdiction of provincial governments. The government is trying to infringe upon the jurisdiction of provincial governments,” said Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal (SSF-N) Co-chairman of Rajendra Shrestha. 

Published: 01-03-2017 07:57

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