President Bhandari asks Prime Minister Deuba to ensure timely local pollsAs per the election laws, there should be a new set of local representatives by May 20.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has asked Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to ensure timely local level elections.
Prime Minister Deuba had reached Sheetal Niwas on Thursday afternoon for a regular briefing, during which President Bhandari had expressed her concerns over the local polls, according to an official at the President’s office.
“The President had asked the prime minister to ensure that the local polls are conducted on time as prescribed by the existing laws and constitution,” said Tika Dhakal, information and communication expert at the President’s Office. “In response, the prime minister had said he was holding discussions with his friends and would make a decision soon.”
Prime Minister Deuba is under extreme pressure from all sectors including his own party to ensure the local level polls on the dates proposed by the Election Commission.
But his coalition partners, especially the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the CPN (Unified Socialist), have been trying to delay the local polls citing Article 225 of the constitution.
As per Article 225 of the constitution, the terms of village assemblies and municipal assemblies shall be five years from the date of election. New village assemblies and municipal assemblies shall be elected no later than six months of the expiration of their terms, the constitutional provision says.
Nepal held local elections in 2017 in three phases—on May 14, June 28 and September 18. Parliamentary and provincial elections were held on November 26 and December 7, 2017.
As per the election laws, there should be a new set of local representatives by May 20 this year.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission, issuing a strong statement, demanded the government announce the date(s) for local polls at the earliest saying that delay in the announcement could complicate their preparations for the polls.
Many leaders from Prime Minister Deuba’s own party also have been demanding that the polls must not be delayed and any deferral could cost the Nepali Congress high.