UDAYAPUR, Nov 29: Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav has ruled out the possibility of elections without consensus among the major parties.
CEC Yadav, who was here to lay the foundation stone of the Udayapur District Election Office, asked the parties to come up with a political consensus and remain prepared for participation in the elections. Reminding the political parties that three-sets of elections--local, provincial and national--need to be conducted by January 21, 2018, Yadav said the commission has been repeatedly asking the parties to seek consensus at the earliest.
"A large number of voters have been deprived of selecting their representatives for nearly two decades since no local elections were held," said Yadav, "We failed to hold the local elections because of prolonged political transition but now we have no excuse for not holding the elections since new constitution has already been promulgated."
Nepal conducted Constituent Assembly elections after the rebel Maoists joined the mainstream poltics following a peace deal in 2006. But no local election has been conducted after term of the local bodies expired in 2002.
CEC Yadav said the government was committed to holding local elections by mid-April next year but it chances of holding the same are shrinking because of growing differences among the political parties. The government, according to Yadav, has not made public its official position on holding the local elections in mid-April while leaders of the major political parties expressing their conflicting views about it. "Differences among the political parties over electoral laws have invited uncertainties over the elections," he said adding, "The row over local bodies restructuring has further complicated the issue."
Although the parties formed a local bodies' restructuring commission to settle on how to delineate local government the commission has not yet produced its report due to conflicts at the local level.
Yadav expressed his dissatisfaction with the government over the delay in clearing legal hurdles for holding the elections. The Commission had already forwarded electoral laws to the government for endorsement a year ago but none of the laws have been endorsed so far. "Political discord must end without further delay to ensure timely elections," he said.
Except for updating the voter roll, the Commission is in a fix over expediting other necessary preparations for holding the election due to the legal hurdles.