Govt decision to hold polls in 2 phases irks UML

- KAMALDEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu

Aug 31, 2017-CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli has expressed displeasure at government’s decision to hold provincial and parliamentary elections in two phases. A Cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved the Election Commission’s proposal to hold provincial and parliamentary elections in two phases—on November 26 and December 7.

Talking to journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon his return on Wednesday from a regular medical check-up in Thailand, the UML chief called the government’s decision “meaningless”. He said there was no logic behind holding the elections in two phases, asking the government to justify the reasons behind the decision. 

“The elections for November 26 were announced by incorporating Election Commission’s proposal. I do not see any necessity to hold the polls in two phases,” Oli said, adding that there should have been consultations with opposition parties before taking such a decision. He warned that holding the polls with a long time lapse could invite a challenge to secure ballot boxes.

Earlier, the EC had proposed two dates for the elections, citing challenges related to logistics and inclement weather. On August 21, the government had decided to hold the two elections on November 26.

Reacting to reports that cadres of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) had been obstructing the election campaign of UML in several districts of Province 2, Oli suggested that those involved in politics of negation should be prevented from contesting the polls. “It is unconstitutional and anarchic to prevent any political parties from reaching out to people,” said Oli, adding that his party would draw the government’s attention towards such activities. The third phase of local level elections are taking place in Province 2 in September 31. 

 As the election date draws closer, there are reports of clashes between UML and RJP-N cadres in several places of Province 2. Expressing a serious concern over obstructions of UML poll campaign, the EC has asked the RJP-N to immediately stop such activities. The poll body has also warned that the elections could be postpones in some places if the obstructions continue. As well as the UML and Madhes-centric parties, the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre) have intensified their campaigns for the local elections in Province 2. 

Published: 31-08-2017 08:00

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