July 17, 2017 03:45 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, July 16:The main opposition CPN-UML has urged the government to form Constituency Delineation Commission without further delay to ensure provincial and national elections within the deadline stipulated by the constitution.
The new constitution makes it binding for the government to conclude the three sets of elections-- local, provincial and national -- within January 21, 2018.
The response of the main opposition party comes at a time when some top leaders of the governing coalition are lobbying to hold the national elections in 240 constituencies under the first-past-the-post system.
A meeting of the party's standing committee held at Chairman KP Sharma Oli's residence in Baluwatar on Tuesday concluded that the ongoing delays in forming the CDC is guided by ill-intention to postpone the elections and invite constitutional crisis.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the party has taken strong exception to the proposal coming from some quarters of the ruling parties to carve 240 constituencies for the national elections, up from the 165 units envisioned in the new constitution. The party has said that the boundaries of central and provincial governments should be determined in accordance with the constitution. The new constitution has envisioned 165 electoral constituencies in the parliamentary/national elections and 330 for provincial assembly elections.
"The party's attention has been drawn toward the propaganda spread through the media to increase the number of constituencies in the parliamentary elections. The proposal cannot be accepted at any cost as our party sees this as a conspiracy against the timely elections," read a statement issued by party spokesperson Yogesh Bhattarai.
Bhattarai has said that the government should expedite work to carve the constituencies without further delay.
"It is important to start works to demarcate the boundaries to hold the elections within the constitutional deadline," Bhattarai has said, adding that the government was not sincere toward holding provincial and national elections on time.
In a different context, the party has said that it will separately hold negotiations with the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) to find solution of the Madhes crisis.