Top leaders of Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) meet at Singha Durbar on Wednesday.(Dipesh Shrestha/Republica)
KATHMANDU, July 28: Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) that are working on forming a new coalition government have agreed to hold long-delayed local elections by mid-April next year.
A meeting of the top leaders from the two major political parties held at Singhadurbar on Wednesday reached the understanding on holding the local polls that were last conducted 19 years ago.
“We (NC and Maoist Center) have decided to hold local elections by mid-April after forming the new government under the leadership of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal,” NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi told Republica.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has already resigned from the post as he lost majority in Parliament after NC and the Maoist Center, with support from various other small political parties, registered a no-confidence motion in the House. The Maoist Center and some other coalition partners in the Oli-led government had withdrawn their support to the government.
The two parties, in point number two of the seven-point agreement reached between the two parties on July 12, had agreed that the new coalition would accomplish the task of delineation at the earliest and hold elections at local, provincial and federal levels without any delay.
The outgoing Oli-led government in its annual policy and programs had announced to hold local elections by November.
Nidhi said that they would first ask the commission which is tasked to delineate and fix the number of local bodies to submit its report at the earliest so that the Election Commission gets four months to prepare for the election date.
The commission had earlier announced its plan to submit its full report by mid-March.
Similarly, the NC and the Maoist Center have decided to hold discussion with other political parties in Parliament seeking their consent on the tentative date for holding local elections.
“Local elections should be held only after restructuring the local bodies and the restructuring task can't be completed by November,” said Maoist Center leader Dev Gurung, who was at the meeting. “We will also discuss the issue with other political parties.”