March 30, 2017 08:05 AM NPT
Dipesh Shrestha/Republica Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal with wife Sita speaks to journalists at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu upon his return from China on Wednesday
KATHMANDU, March 30: The local level elections would be held at any cost on May 14, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said Wednesday, dismissing any possibility of postponing the election as demanded by the agitating parties.
Talking to reporters soon after he landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport from a weeklong visit to China, premier Dahal said the polls preparations are in the final stages.
“The question whether the polls will take place on the scheduled date is itself misplaced. To cast doubts at elections at this stage would be nothing but attempt to mislead the people,” said the prime minister. Prime Minister Dahal said that the polls cannot now be postponed at anyone’s insistence. His hint was toward the regional parties which have been demanding postponements of the elections until the dispute over provincial boundaries are addressed.
Dahal said that he had tried to settle the dispute with the Madhesi parties before heading for China but to no avail. He said that the rigid stance of the Madhesi parties has prevented any breakthrough. He said that informal negotiations are in progress to iron out differences with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF).
“I have directed the taskforce to reach a settlement on the dispute with the UDMF. The taskforce would hold discussions with them and resolve the problems,” said Dahal, adding that the taskforce would soon hold a meeting with the agitating parties.
In a different context, Prime Minister Dahal claimed that his weeklong China visit was a success. He said that his visit has added new dimension to Nepal-China relationships.
Referring to his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other high-level officials, Dahal said that Nepal’s ties with the northern neighbor has further strengthened with those meetings.
“The visit should be seen as an effort to strengthen Nepal-China ties. It also aimed to consolidate support and cooperation of our northern neighbor for Nepal’s broader development. In that sense, the visit achieved its purpose,” said Dahal.
Certain foreign policy experts have criticized Dahal’s visit which they claim was devoid of “agenda or objective”.