Election body asks government to announce date for local polls at the earliestBut the five-party ruling coalition has been mulling over postponing the local polls under the pretext of holding all three polls simultaneously.
The Election Commission has asked the government to announce the date for local elections at the earliest.
“As the delay in announcement of polling date will create complications in management of practical and technical aspects, we request the government to announce the date in consultation with the commission at the earliest as per Clause 4(1) of the Local Level Election Act 2017,” states a press statement issued by the Election Commission on Tuesday.
The Election Commission had proposed the government to hold the local polls in one go on April 27 and if it is to be conducted in two phases the second phase could be held on May 5.
The commission authorities had met Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba twice on October 25 last year and on January 22 and had briefed that the terms of all the local governments elected in three phases will end on May 19.
Nepal held local elections in 2017 in three phases—on May 14, June 28 and September 18.
According to Election Commission officials, the commission was seeking time from the prime minister to request him to announce a date at the earliest but they have not received any response.
“We were waiting for a response from the prime minister’s office,” said Dinesh Thapaliya, chief election commissioner. “But to no avail. Probably we will get time after the National Assembly polls.”
After consulting a ‘select’ group of legal and constitutional experts on Sunday the meeting of the coalition partners had decided to amend the Local Level Election Act 2017 saying its clause related to local levels polls contradicts the Article 225 of the constitution.
The five-party ruling coalition has been mulling over postponing the local polls under the pretext of holding all three polls simultaneously.
“Actually we wanted to tell the government that the commission should be consulted if the government was thinking of revising the dates proposed by us,” said one of the election commissioners. “We will brief the prime minister on the constitutional and level provisions and the difficulties the commission will have to face if the polls are delayed.”
Clause 3(1) of the Election Commission Act 2017 has stated that the government fixes election dates in consultation with the Election Commission.