KATHMANDU, Feb 18: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has expedited consultations to announce a date for local level election.
While he is holding both formal and informal negotiations with the top leaders of the main opposition party and the agitating Madhes-based parties, Prime Minister Dahal also held meetings with Election Commission (EC) officials on Friday. The prime minister is holding a joint meeting with the top leaders of the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on Saturday.
Sources close to Prime Minister Dahal said he has called a cabinet meeting for Sunday to discuss announcing election date. “If everything goes alright, the cabinet meeting will announce a date for local elections. The elections will be held before the monsoon starts,” the sources said.
Speaking in Liwang, Rolpa on Friday, Prime Minister Dahal said the major political parties and their leaders are serious about going to the elections. “We held fruitful discussions at political level today and yesterday. The government will soon declare election date. I ask you all to start working from today itself to create environment for free and fair elections,” the prime minister instructed government employees in Liwang.
The prime minister has invited the top leaders of the agitating Madhes-based parties for a meeting Saturday to discuss declaring the election date. He will try to convince the leaders that the government intends to take ahead both the constitution amendment bill and the election process.
Till date, the Madhes-based parties are, however, opposed to the prime minister's proposal. “The prime minister appears to be preparing to announce election date. We have already made our positions clear that we will launch protests if the election is announced without amending the constitution,” said Keshav Jha, the general secretary of the Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party.