May 30, 2017 12:40 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, May 30: The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) has welcomed the government's decision to postpone the second phase of the local elections even as its leaders refrained from making any explicit commitment to contest the polls on the rescheduled date.
The government on Monday decided to defer the local polls for June 23 upon insistence of RJPN leaders who showed readiness to take part in polls if given 'some time' for polls preparations.
RJPN said that the polls postponement was a positive development but insisted that more needs to be done to make conducive environment for the polls.
“The polls postponement is definitely a positive move. But it would be meaningless if the government fails to do what it has promised to do on the given date,” RJPN Vice Chairman Brishesh Chandra Lal. He claimed that the governing Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) had assured RJPN leaders of constitution amendment before going to polls.
“The constitution amendment bill should be endorsed as promised. We would then decide on whether to participate in the local elections,” said Lal.
However, NC and CPN (Maoist Center) leaders said that they have not given any promise to amend the constitution.
“The poll was postponed after RJPN leaders sought time to complete the election procedures. We have not given any commitment on constitution amendment and realignment of boundaries,” said Gopalman Shrestha, an NC leader.
Shrestha said that the governing parties agreed to postpone the polls after RJPN interlocutors' "signaled their readiness to reconsider the party's decision to boycott the polls". Last week, RJPN had announced a week-long protest program to disrupt the polls process.
But RJPN leader Rajendra Mahato denied having made any promise to take part in the polls.
“Our official stance remains unchanged; the political and non political demands put forth by the Federal Alliance should be met at any cost before the elections. We will first see what the government does before reconsidering our decision,” said Mahato.