UML voices displeasure with EC over budget between polls

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 27, 2017-

The main opposition CPN-UML on Sunday expressed its dissatisfaction over the Election Commission’s statement that the government is allowed to present the budget between the first and second phases of elections scheduled for May 14 and June 14.

The election authority said on Monday that it would not stand in the way of the government presenting the budget on Jestha 15 (May 29), the date specified in the constitution to unveil the government’s fiscal estimates.

Stating that it had asked the government to introduce the budget after the second phase of polls are over June 14, the EC had said the budget could not be stopped if the government decided to present it on May 29.

The election authority has, however, clarified that the government cannot introduce new programmes in the budget except for continuation of the existing ones in a budget presented between the two phases of election.

A team of UML leaders led by Subas Nembang reached the EC On Wednesday and complained about the EC’s statement arguing that introducing the new budget before the vote would violate the election code.

“We also inquired about the EC’s position on budget after media reports about the EC allowing the government to present it between the two phases of elections when the code of conduct bars the government from introducing any new plans and programmes,” said UML leader Agni Kharel, who was a part of the delegation.

Complaining that the EC did not consult with the second largest party before approving the government’s plan to hold the elections in two phases, UML leaders told the EC officials that their suggestions would have been holding the second phase of elections before the budget.

“We responded that the EC didn’t consult with the UML before approving the plan to hold the elections in two phases as the prime minister assured us that he would bring all the parties on board,” said Election Commissioner Ishwari Prasad Poudel.

The UML submitted a memorandum to the EC on March 28 that various activities of the government violated the election code of conduct.

According to UML leader Kharel, they also complained to the EC about the government’s plan to increase the number of local units “unconstitutionally”.

The UML has been obstructing Parliament over the agreement between the governing parties and the Madhesi and Janajati parties on increasing the number of local federal units in 11 Tarai districts.

Published: 27-04-2017 07:52

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