KATHMANDU, June 15: The decision to postpone the second phase of the local level elections in Province 2 will weaken national unity and boost the morale of separatists, the main opposition CPN-UML said on Thursday as it criticized the government's last-minute decision to defer the polls in Province 2.
Bowing down to pressure from the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, a cabinet meeting Thursday decided to defer the polls in Province 2 for September 18. However, three other federal provinces will go to the polls as planned on June 28.
In a statement just minutes after the cabinet decision, UML, the second largest party in parliament, criticized the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) for deferring the elections without any valid reasons.
“The government's decision to defer the local polls in Province 2 does not only prevent the people from exercising their rights to elect their own representatives but has also impacted the implementation of the new constitution,” reads the statement issued by UML Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai.
In the statement, Bhattarai has said the deferral of the local polls has boosted the morale of the separatists and weakened national unity. He claimed that the government is hell-bent on pushing the country toward uncertainty by repeatedly postponing the polls. Prior to Thursday's deferral, the government had rescheduled the election date for three times.
The UML has also instructed its party-rank and file to gear up for the local elections in Province-1, 5 and 7.