Government doesn’t walk the election talkAlmost a month after making an announcement to hold three elections within a year and a half, the government has done little to show that it is actually ready to conduct the polls on the specified dates.
Almost a month after making an announcement to hold three elections within a year and a half, the government has done little to show that it is actually ready to conduct the polls on the specified dates.
The government has not approved the bills drafted by the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), let alone create an environment for the elections.
“We have briefed the prime minister on what needs to be done from the government’s side,” said Election Commissioner Ila Sharma, declining to go into the specifics. “All I can say is—the faster the government machinery works, the easier it will be for us to conduct all the three elections.”
The local bodies election procedure bill forwarded by the ECN last year has yet to be tabled in Parliament. It needs to be approved by the House for the elections to take place.
The ECN is still working on several draft laws that need the government’s proactive support in getting them through Parliament. A key player in this is the Federal Implementation and Restructuring Committee, which will prepare its report after study and consultations. The report will factor in the Local Bodies Autonomy Act, providing an outline for the directives required for its implementation.
The ECN maintains that it is ready to hold all the three elections if it gets 120 days to make arrangements.
“Once the laws and the report of the restructuring committee [in the case of local level election] are in place, we can start discussion with the government about the election date,” said Commissioner Sharma.
Sharma emphasised that all the laws must be ready and the delineation of boundaries—for local elections—should be completed before scheduling the elections.
The constitution requires local, provincial and parliamentary elections to be held within the next 18 months. The government plans to conduct the local body elections in December.