BUTWAL, Feb 15: Coming down heavily on the Election Commission (EC) for failing to settle the authenticity row of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed doubt over the commitment of the election body to hold the midterm elections within six months as announced by Prime Minister K P Oli.
Addressing a mass rally organized by the party against the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HoR) in Butwal on Monday, NC President Deuba argued that the failure on the part of the EC to settle the authenticity dispute of the ruling NCP could thwart the prospect of holding the midterm elections now scheduled for April 30 and May 10. “Prime Minister Oli has announced that he will hold the election by mid-May. Why is the Election Commission not saying this?” he asked. “Time has already come to cast doubt over the Election Commission now.”
President Deuba also criticized the EC for not publishing the election calendar of events as the scheduled dates for the midterm election are fast approaching. “Why is it failing to publish the election calendar of events? There is a dispute over the election symbol. Why is the Election Commission not giving the election symbol [to one of two factions]?” he asked further.
Deuba asked the EC to give the election symbol to one of the two factions. He also said that Prime Minister Oli may decide not to hold the elections within the stipulated dates if his faction is not given Sun - the election symbol of the erstwhile CPN-UML and later the NCP.
While stating that NC is ready to accept any verdict made by the Supreme Court on the House dissolution case, President Deuba argued that there is no need to wait for the apex court’s verdict to start election campaign since they can immediately halt the campaign activities if the Supreme Court decided to reinstate the dissolved lower house of the federal parliament.
Deuba argued that it is not good to exert undue pressure on the apex court on sub judice cases to pass verdicts to suit one’s partisan interests. “We are okay if the Supreme Court decides to reinstate the dissolved parliament. We are ready to go to election too if the apex court orders the government to hold the elections,” he said, asking all those exerting undue pressure on the apex court over the House dissolution case not to do so.