Upper House poll slated for Feb 8

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav suggests the date in a meeting with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in Baluwatar on Tuesday evening

Jan 3, 2018-The Election Commission on Tuesday suggested that the government hold the much awaited National Assembly elections on February 8.

Chief Election Commis-sioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav suggested the date in a meeting with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in Baluwatar on Tuesday evening, the EC said in a statement. CEC Yadav also confirmed the meeting.

According to the ordinance on National Assembly elections approved by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on December 29, 2017, the government has been authorised to fix the date in consultation with the EC.

PM’s press advisor Govinda Pariyar said Deuba responded to CEC Yadav’s proposal saying that the next Cabinet meeting would take a decision on the date after consultation with the political parties.

The Assembly will have 59 members, with 56 representatives—eight from each province—elected by an electoral college comprising provincial assembly members and chiefs and deputy chiefs of municipalities and rural municipalities. The three other members are nominated by the President on the government’s recommendation.

Upper House vote has been a hot topic of discussion as the EC has declined to announce the Proportional Representation results of the House of Representatives election citing constitutional provisions. This has prevented the Lower House from taking its full shape and formation of a new government as per the popular mandate.

The left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) on one hand and the poll body and the Nepali Congress on the other differ over the need for National Assembly to form the House of Representatives. 

On Monday, a delegation of senior leaders from the two communist parties visited the EC to urge the election body to make public the PR results, arguing that the constitution does not bar immediate allocation of seats to the parties. Sister organisations of the two parties have also been protesting against the delay in announcing the PR results.

An election commissioner, however, said they would not announce the results until the Upper House is formed. “We cannot go against the constitution and laws,” said the commissioner on condition of anonymity.

Published: 03-01-2018 07:50

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