Govt prepares to announce local polls date

Published On: January 10, 2017 09:04 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 10: Buoyed by its success in tabling the constitution amendment bill in Parliament on Sunday, the government has geared up necessary preparations to announce by next week the date for local level elections.

Top leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) have decided to announce the date of local elections after the election-related bills tabled in Parliament along with the statute amendment bill are duly endorsed. 

“Parliament may take about seven days to endorse the election-related bills that are currently under deliberations. The government will announce the date of local-level elections once the election-related bills are endorsed,” said senior leader of ruling Maoist Center Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

The government has registered the Local Level Election Bill and Election Offense and Punishment Bill in Parliament for deliberations, which started on Monday. Top leaders of all major political parties are mulling to endorse the bills through a fast-track process.

The government is required to hold all three tiers of elections by January, 2018 to implement the new Constitution. As the government was able to table the constitution amendment bill despite protests by the opposition parties Sunday, the ruling parties are optimistic they will receive support from the agitating Madhes-based parties for holding local elections by May. 

Although the opposition parties have been demanding that the government announce the date for local elections, the Madhes-based parties have remained non-committal about elections. These parties have maintained that the amendment bill must be passed with revisions as a condition for their participating in elections. 

Major political parties have already reached an understanding on holding local-level elections as per the local units determined by the commission formed to delineate local units under the federal setup.  The commission headed by Bala Nanda Paudel has already submitted its report proposing a total 719 local units in the new state structure.

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