Polls impossible without statute amendment: Madhes leaders

Published On: December 29, 2016 03:51 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 29: Reiterating their stance of not accepting any election without constitution amendment, the agitating Madhes-based parties said that the local elections cannot take place under the new setup.

As the leaders from the three major parties on Wednesday held positive talks about holding local polls under new structure and announcing the election date soon, leaders from the Madhes-based parties said they would not allow the local election to take place until the constitution is amended to address their demands.

"We have been clearly saying to the leaders in the government that elections are not possible without first amending the constitution. If they move toward local poll without addressing our demands, we'll not let the elections to take place," said Manish Suman, the general secretary of Sadbhavana Party.

National Madhes Socialist Party General Secretary Keshav Jha said that the agitating parties would have no objection if the constitution amendment process and election process went ahead simultaneously. 

"The two processes could go simultaneously but the election in real sense would not be possible without completing the constitution amendment process," said Jha.

Jha also said that the local polls under new structure are not possible at the moment.

"The commission formed to restructure local units has the responsibility of fixing the numbers and boundaries of village bodies, municipalities as well as special, protected or autonomous regions. However, the commission is preparing to submit an incomplete report to the government as it has only discussed village and municipalities so far. Holding election based on an incomplete report would be unconstitutional," argued Jha.

Jha also said that the Madhes-based parties want the number of local units fixed on the basis of the population since the Constitution has included village council chairmen and vice-chairmen as well as mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities in the electoral college for electing the members of the national assembly.

"If major three parties want election in real, they should complete the constitution amendment process, table the election-related bills in parliament and address our concerns in local restructuring to create an environment for the election," argued Jha.

He also said that the Madhes-based parties want at least 46 percent of the country's local units in the Tarai districts.

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