Prez urges EC to continue poll preparations

Published On: December 29, 2016 12:27 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 29: President Bidya Devi Bhandari has urged the Election Commission (EC) to continue with its preparations for conducting elections in a free and fair manner whenever the parties agree to go  for  polls.

Receiving the annual report of the EC at Sheetal Niwas, the president asked EC officials to continue with their preparatory work so that the elections could be conducted once the parties agree on holding elections. 

“Let's continue with the preparations for elections although some doubts need yet to be clearead,” Chief Election Commissioener (CEC) Ayodhee Prasad Yadav quoted President Bhandari as saying, "That will help make the elections a sucess."  

CEC Yadav, Commissioner Ila Sharma, EC Secretary Gopinath Mainali and other senior EC officials were present at the function. On the occasion, the president suggested to the EC to continue with its work as per its jurisdiction under the Consittuion and hold free and fair elections. 

In his response to the president's concerns, CEC Yadav briefed her on the work began by the EC for holding elections.  

“We have aleady drafted all election-related laws. They have now been forwarded to the government for parliamentary approval, and the voter rolls updating drive has also began across the country,” said Yadav in his briefing. 

The EC is currently updating the voter rolls in the hill and mountain districts. 

Yadav also made it clear that the commission was in a position to hold any election once the legal hurldes are cleared and the political parties agree on going for polls. "We are capable and committed to holding any elections if legal and other hurdles are cleared in time,” he said. 

The new Constitution has a provision for conducting three sets of elections--local, provincial and central--by January 2018. But political parties are divided over whether or  not to conduct elections before the onstitution amendemnt bill that has been tabled in Parliament is cleared. 

They are also yet to reach an understanding on which election should be conducted first. 

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