KATHMANDU, June 8: The Election Commission (EC) has called for an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the government’s decision to dissolve the District Election Office.
EC Commissioner Ram Prasad Bhandari said that the EC plans to hold consultation with all the parties as the government wants to put the EC under the shadow of the executive branch against the provision in the constitution. In the budget presented to the Federal Parliament on May 29, the District Election Office has been dissolved and the government plans to keep the District Election Office as a unit under the District Administration Office.
Commissioner Bhandari said that they will also hold a meeting with the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other ministers as it is against the constitution to dissolve the body which should remain active all the time. "The government cannot take any decision without consulting the commission." If the decision is not confirmed, a constitutional gap will be created between the commission and the government. If this happens, the Commission may have to seek other options,” he said.
Bhandari also said that the government should be aware of the constitutional arrangement to hold elections under the leadership of district judges due to the belief that elections conducted by administrative leadership are not free, fair and reliable.
The EC has already held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha regarding the government's decision to dissolve the District Election Office and informed him of the constitutional and legal arrangements and has drawn attention to withdraw the decision.