KATHMANDU, Feb 16: After successfully holding three sets of elections, the Election Commission (EC) is preparing to hold the elections for the president and vice-president within mid-March.
A day after submitting the final poll results of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies to the Office of the President, the election body on Thursday discussed presidential elections with the political parties represented in parliament. At the meeting, election commissioners proposed to leaders to hold the presidential election within the third week of March and elect vice-president shortly after holding the presidential election.
"We have proposed to the political parties to hold presidential elections between March 5 to March 10. The election for vice-president will take place between March 16 to 18," said election commissioner Narendra Dahal, adding, "It's our proposal. Poll dates will be finalized after holding a discussion with the government."
Constitutionally, the elections for president and vice-president should be held within a month after the formation of federal and provincial assemblies. Even as the lower house of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies in all seven provinces have already been formed, the 59-member upper house, however, has yet to get the full shape as the appointment of three national assembly members has been delayed.
Out of the total 59-members of the upper house, 56 are elected from seven provinces. The government needs to appoint three members to the upper house. Outgoing prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had recommended to the president to appoint Gopal Basnet, Krishna Paudel and Chandi Joshi to the three national assembly seats but the president has been sitting on the recommendations.
The new government is reportedly preparing to recommend new faces to the National Assembly. This has divided political parties and the election body is confused over whether the differences further delay the presidential elections.