June 11, 2017 12:20 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, June 11: The Election Commission (EC) has rejected outright a proposal by the parties opposing elections to defer the second round of local polls scheduled for June 28.
Soon after leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), a key political force in the tarai, demanded deferral of the election yet again, election commissioners said they will conduct the June 28 polls as scheduled even if parties opposed to polls refuse to particiapte in the electoral exercise.
Speculation is rife that the second round of local elections may get deferred this time also as the RJPN is demanding a deferral until the constitution amendment bill is endorsed. At a meeting on Saturday, the party warned that it would not be participating in the election if the constitution amendment bill is not endorsed.
"We cannot defer the poll date now. The election will take place as scheduled," said Election Commissioner Ishwari Prasad Paudyal. The government has already deferred the polls three times. The commissioners say they will press on irrespective of whether the RJPN agrees to participate or not.
Poll preparations have already been completed in the remaining four provinces of the country.
Poll logistics and election officers have been deployed on the ground to conduct the polls.
Following the RJPN's refusal to be the part of elections, EC commissioners have gone into discussions with newly-elected Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.