Ruling alliance to consult legal experts, again, on local electionsDiffering views appear at a coalition meeting called to make a common position.
The ruling alliance has failed to reach a consensus on when to hold local level elections.
At least two coalition partners—Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and CPN (Unified Socialist)—want to delay local elections, proposed for April-May by the Election Commission, and conduct parliamentary elections at that time instead.
On Saturday morning, the coalition partners held a meeting at Baluwatar to discuss the local polls and dates.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who earlier was somewhat ready to delay the polls, insisted at Saturday’s meeting that elections should be held by the Election Commission-proposed dates ( April/May), according to Baluwatar sources.
Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN (Unified Socalist) chair Madhav Kumar Nepal were of the view that there should be an electoral alliance among coalition partners for local elections, just like in upper house polls, according to one ruling party leader.
“The new proposal has emerged as a new bone of contention,” the leader told the Post.
After failing to reach consensus on when to hold local elections—in April-May or delay them by 6-12 months—top leaders of the ruling alliance have decided to sit again at four later on Saturday.
“We have decided to sit again at 4pm today with some legal experts,” Narayan Kaji Shrestha, a Maoist Centre leader, told the Post.
Last week also, the ruling alliance had consulted a select group of legal and constitutional experts.
The experts appeared to have offered suggestions in lines with the ruling alliance leaders.
The ruling alliance’s exercise to delay local polls have invited widespread criticism, with the main opposition CPN-UML saying such a move would be against the rule of law and the principle of periodic elections which is fundamental to democracy.
Within the Nepali Congress, a faction is pressing Deuba not to delay local polls, saying the constitution does not envision a vacuum at the local level.
On Thursday, President Bidya Devi Bhandari urged Prime Minister Deuba to hold elections on time.