Laws must be in place first to hold polls: ECThe Election Commission (EC) has told the government that it will be able to hold the local body elections in November/ December provided that the government amends election laws in line with the constitutional provisions.
The Election Commission (EC) has told the government that it will be able to hold the local body elections in November/ December provided that the government amends election laws in line with the constitutional provisions.
According to Acting Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav, the EC is committed to conducting elections as per the government schedule. “It is not a question of whether we are ready or not. The government has announced to hold three elections, and it is the duty of the EC to conduct them,” Yadav told the Post when asked if the EC is ready to hold elections as per the government schedule.
On Monday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visited the EC office and enquired about the development on the part of the commission after the government’s announcement to hold local body elections in November/December.
As per the constitution, the government has to hold three elections—local, provincial and parliamentary elections—in the next 18 months.
In order to hold local elections, the government needs to approve the Local Bodies Autonomy Act and Local Bodies Election Procedure Act first.
The EC has long been urging the government to come up with a special Act to hold provincial elections.
“Legal hurdles created after the country went into federal structure has to be addressed by new Acts to facilitate us to conduct the elections,” said Commissioner Ila Sharma. “The EC has made it clear from the very beginning that we need at least 120 days after all legal hurdles are cleared to prepare for the elections,” she added. As per this schedule, the government has to endorse the Act by July if the government wants to hold local body elections in November/December.
A press release issued by the EC on Monday said that PM Oli, during his visit to the EC office, enquired about the progress it has made for holding elections as per the government schedule. The government has assured all necessary legal, administrative, technical and other support to the Election Commission for holding the elections, the release added.
Prime Minister Oli was accompanied by Home Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister for Law and Justice Agni Prasad Kharel, former Speaker Subas Nembang and Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi.
Besides addressing other concerns, the government also needs to appoint three commissioners at the EC. Currently there are only two commissioners.