Prachanda and Nepal discuss local polls with PM Deuba, ruling alliance’s meeting summoned

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and CPN (Unified Socialist) Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal discussed local polls on Friday.

Prime Minister’s Secretariat said that the three leaders discussed the local elections during a meeting at Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar this morning but failed to reach a conclusion.

“They reviewed the recent National Assembly elections,” the Prime Minister’s Secretariat said in a statement. “But a conclusion on how to hold three-tier polls has not been reached yet.”

The meeting agreed to summon a meeting of parties representing the alliance tomorrow.

The parties in the alliance except Nepali Congress are in favor of holding local elections only after holding federal and provincial elections. The Nepali Congress is still undecided on the issues.

The term of the locally-elected representatives is expiring on May 20 this year. The Election Commission has proposed local elections for April 27 in case of single-phase and on April 27 and May 5 in case of two phases. The commission needs 120 days from the date of the announcement for election-related management and preparation.

The Election Commission had recently requested the government to announce polls as proposed by the commission mentioning that it is continuously carrying out voter registration, review and determination of polling stations and other necessary preparations for holding the elections.

[Related: Local polls: Why is Nepali Congress submitting to coalition partners at the cost of democracy?]

The government, however, does not seem keen on holding local polls immediately. The government and the ruling parties look bent on deferring the local polls arguing that the Election Act contradicts the constitution. They have been claiming that the Act should be amended first.

As the government is dithering over when to hold the local elections, experts have warned that deferring local polls can have consequences on federalism and can also invite constitutional crisis. Constitutional experts say that failure to hold the local elections on time can lead to a constitutional crisis in the country.