NC, Maoists propose defering poll to accommodate RJPN

Published On: May 29, 2017 01:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

-Polls could be deferred for “a week or two” to give time for RJPN for polls preparation 
-No possibility of constitution amendment or increase in local units 
KATHMANDU, May 29: Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) have expressed readiness to briefly postpone the elections after a section of the RJPN leadership signaled that they could reconsider their decision to boycott the polls.
During their informal discussions with the NC and CPN (Maoist Center) on Sunday, RJPN interlocutors have hinted at taking part in the polls if the non-political demands put forth by the party are addressed. 

Their non-political demands include time to allow the party to register with the Election Commission and a common election symbol for the party.
Cross-party leaders involved in informal negotiations said that NC and CPN (Maoist Center) are positive about addressing the "minor concerns [demands]" even if it means postponing the polls. 

Gopalman Shrestha, an NC leader who is involved in informal negotiations with RJPN leaders, told Republica, that the polls would be postponed if RJPN agrees to drop the demands for constitution amendment and increment in the local units for now.
 “We have told them that the polls can be postponed for a week or two to give them time for polls preparations. In return, we are seeking univocal commitment from RJPN leaders to participate in the elections,” NC leader Shrestha told Republica.
CPN (Maoist Center) spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that polls would be postponed only if there is clear commitment from the agitating party to participate in the polls.
“The date could be readjusted if they agree to take part in polls once the issues with the EC are sorted out,” said Bhusal. 

NC and Maoist Center leaders said that the UML is also ready to address RJPN's concerns over election symbols. 

Interlocutors said that RJPN leaders have so far refrained from giving clear response to their offer. 
Despite readiness expressed by some RJPN leaders, many other leaders remain adamant on their erstwhile stance to boycott the polls if their political demands are not met.
“There were always doubts about the constitution amendment but the SC's stay order has also ended the possibility of increasing the local unit numbers. In this scenario, we have little choice left. There is a possibility of revision in the decision to boycott the polls,” said a RJPN leader. 

RJPN leader Rajendra Mahato said that the NC and the Maoist Center were yet to make clear offer to end the current stalemate. He said that RJPN would take appropriate decision after receiving a concrete proposal from the NC and the Maoist Center. 

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