UML asks EC to hold second phase poll before budget

Published On: May 5, 2017 12:50 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 5: Dismayed at the Election Commission (EC)'s consent to hold the second phase the local elections after the budget, the main opposition CPN-UML has urged the election body to reconsider the decision.

The main opposition party has argued that introducing budget before the polls will be against the established norms. 

Backtracking from its previous decision to hold the elections in a single phase, the government has decided to conduct the elections in two phases on May 14 and June 14.

The Election Commission agreed to conduct the elections without consulting the opposition parties. The opposition parties believe that the plan to introduce budget ahead of the second phase election could influence the election results while providing security to the ballot papers for a month would be a challenging job. 

The main opposition party UML is also against the plans made by the EC to make public the election results immediately after the first phase election. UML is against publicizing the results until the second round of elections are held as the party believes that this could influence the elections. 

A team of UML leaders led by deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Nembang had reached Bahadur Bhawan, the EC headquarters, to draw the attention of the election body.
"Confusions, uncertainties and dilemma remain rife among the public after the date for the second phase election was fixed with a gap of one month without consulting the main opposition," reads a memorandum submitted to the EC. 

"Further, the decision to count votes before the second phase of election will be against the fundamental principles of free, fair and credible elections," it adds. 

The constitution has set Jestha 15 (May 29) as the Budget Day. And the date for the second phase election has been fixed after the budget day. The EC has already asked the government not to bring the budget in between the elections. It believes that bringing the budget in between the elections will be violation of the election codes.
"That's why we urged the government to hold the second phase elections before budget, keeping these complexities in mind," said Nembang. 

The delegation has also argued that the decision to hold the elections during the Muslim holy month of Ramjan will be against the sentiments of the Muslim community. Muslims will be observing fasts during Ramjan on June 14 when the second phase election takes place. 

The election body was also asked to ensure foolproof security to ensure maximum voter turnout on the Election Day.

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