KATHMANDU, June 22: Local level representatives to be elected in Province 2 will be in office for almost five months less than those elected in the first phase of the local polls.
The constitution has fixed the terms of local representatives at five years. But the Local Level Election Act elaborates that if the election of the local bodies is held in two or more phases the election date will be counted from the date of the first phase local polls as announced by the government.
The government announced local polls on May 14 but later divided the election into two phases. The second phase was scheduled for June 28. With the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) threatening to obstruct election activities, the government further postponed the polls in Province-2 to September 18.
As things now stand, local level representatives in provinces 1, 5 and 7 will be elected one and half months after the first phase polls and those in Province-2 nearly five months after.
Article 216 (6) of the new constitution says, "The term of office of the mayor, deputy mayor, ward chairperson and member shall be five years after the date of being elected.”
But if the election is held in different phases, the election date will be taken as the date of the first phase poll announced by the government, according to Section 4 (4) of the Act.
As per this provision, the term of the local level representatives will expire after May 14, 2022.
Election Commission Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma confirmed that the tenure of the local level representatives will be almost five months shorter than for those elected in the first phase. “The date of the local election will be taken as May 14, according to the existing election law. Thus the representatives elected from the second and third phase polls will have short tenures than those of the first phase,” Sharma told Republica.
Secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development Dinesh Thapaliya also said that the tenure of the local body representatives will be counted from the date of the first phase polls. “The tenure of the local body representative in provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7 will count from May 14, 2017 although they are yet to be elected,” said Thapaliya.