EC proposes holding all elections by Nov 23

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 1, 2017-

The Election Commission has proposed holding the elections for provincial parliaments, the National Assembly and the Federal Parliament by November 23.

A team of EC officials led by Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav met Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in Singha Durbar on Friday to suggest the government that it would be appropriate to hold the provincial parliamentary elections in the second week of October.

The election authority proposed scheduling the elections for National Assembly for the last week of October and Federal Parliament for the third week of November.

During the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office, EC officials pointed to the limited time available for holding all the three elections before the tenure of Legislature-Parliament expires on January 21, 2018.

Since elections cannot be held in the Mountain districts after December until the winter season is over, EC officials said, tentative dates for the polls were proposed.

But holding three elections in less than five months at a time when the country is yet to conduct the local elections in Province 2 looks to be a race against time. The third round of local polls is slated for September 18.

The ruling parties have promised the dissenting Madhesi forces including the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, which boycotted both the phases of local elections, to address their demands of constitution amendment.

The Madhesi and Janajati forces have also sought re-delineation of the provincial boundaries, particularly in the Tarai, and a change in provisions on citizenship and representation in the National Assembly.

The issue of boundaries is expected to be settled through a Federal Commission, which is yet to be formed. The government’s effort to increase the number of local units in 11 Tarai districts before the second-phase vote was stayed by the Supreme Court.

The Electoral Constituency Delimitation Commission, which realigns the constituencies before the provincial and federal elections, has yet to be formed. The EC reminded the prime minister that the report of the commission must be provided to it by July 30.

According to PM’s aide Bhanu Deuba, the prime minister assured the commissioners that he would take initiatives to form the Constituency Delimitation Commission and to pass necessary laws soon in consultation with the political parties.

The election authority also asked the government to pass laws required to hold the elections by July 15.

“Without these laws and the report of the Constituency Delimitation Commission in time, holding the elections before winter will be difficult,” said election commissioner Narendra Dahal.

The draft bills related to the elections are under consideration at the Law Ministry. After the ministry sends these bills back to the Home Ministry with suggestions, the latter tables them in Parliament following Cabinet approval.

The EC has also sought amendment to the Voter List Act, demanding authority to update it between different phases of vote. 

“In order to update the voter list to accommodate those who attained 18 years of age after February 20, an amendment to the Act is necessary,” said Dahal. Voter list update has been halted since the local elections were announced on February 20.

 

 

Proposed dates

- Provincial parliament elections >second week of October

- National Assembly polls >last week of October

- Federal Parliament vote >third week of November

Published: 01-07-2017 07:39

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