Govt confirms June 14 as Phase II polling day

  • Cabinet approves contents of revised constitution amendment bill
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Call to defer April 29 deadline for candidate nomination by a few days in states 3, 4 and 6, where vote takes place first

Apr 24, 2017-The government on Sunday decided to hold the second phase of local level elections on June 14 after consulting with the Election Commission and approved contents of the proposed constitutional amendments.

As the preparations for the first round of election are going on in full swing, the government also decided, citing time limits, to request the EC to defer the April 29 deadline for candidate nomination by some days in provinces 3, 4 and 6, where the vote will be held in the first phase. The polls in provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7 will take place on June 14.

The government has decided not to register another amendment bill in Parliament. Instead, proposals to amend the proposal already registered with the House would be filed within the 72-hour window provided by the Parliament Secretariat.

According to a minister, the government hopes the new proposal will be passed ahead of the first round of polls. The government side has claimed that the contents of the proposed revision were prepared as per an agreement reached with the Sanghiya Gathabandhan on Saturday.

Industry Minster Nabindra Raj Joshi said there was no need to register another amendment proposal. Amending the constitutional requirement (Article 274) for consent of the respective province while redrawing the boundaries, the proposal will allow for changing the boundaries in consultation with the respective province.

The Cabinet also decided to form a powerful Federal Commission, defining it as “proportional and inclusive”, as demanded by the protesting parties.

As agreed with the Gathabandhan, the government decided to fast-track endorsement of the revised constitution amendment proposal in Parliament. The EC would be requested to extend the deadline for candidate nomination to allow the protesting parties to join the elections.

The meeting formed a panel to revisit the number of local federal units ahead of the second-phase polls. It also decided to induct leaders from other parties to the committee comprising Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa, Forest Minister Shankar Bhandari, Law Minister Ajay Shankar Nayak and Supplies Minister Dipak Bohara formed to work on increasing the number of local units in provinces 2 and 5. The panel will present its report to the government within a couple of days.

The Gathabandhan was urged to accept the revised charter revision proposal, Information Minister Surendra Karki said.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, as provisioned in Article 7 (3) of the constitution, the list of languages spoken in the country will be enlisted in Schedule, on the recommendation of the Language Commission, which has already been formed. Karki said the meeting urged the main opposition CPN-UML to assist in passing the constitution amendment bill.

Nidhi back in Cabinet

Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi, who has skipped several Cabinet meetings over a protocol row among the DPMs, attended the meeting on Sunday.

Nidhi is said to have followed the direction of party President Sher Bahadur Deuba to end his protest. 

“While my stance over the seniority row remains intact, I have decided to take part in the meeting considering the interests of the country, Madhes and my party,” Nidhi said.

Published: 24-04-2017 07:47

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