Local polls in 2 phases

UML urges govt to postpone budget

Published On: April 24, 2017 01:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 24: With the government deciding to hold the upcoming local polls in two phases, the main opposition CPN-UML has urged the government to postpone the unveiling of the new budget, stating that it would be against the election code of conduct. 

Speaking at the parliamentary party meeting of the party, CPN-UML Chairman K P Oli said that unveiling the budget for the new fiscal year about 15 days before the second phase of the local polls would influence the election. 

According to Article 119 of the new constitution, the new budget must be presented in the House on May 28 every year. However, after the government decided to hold the local polls in four provinces on June 14, the CPN-UML has expressed objection to the decision. 

"Either the budget presentation date should be postponed by amending the constitution or the second phase of the polls should be rescheduled," UML lawmaker Rewati Raman Bhandari quoted Oli as saying in the meeting. 

Another UML lawmaker Mamata Giri said Oli opined that the budget can be presented only after the local polls. 

Briefing the party's lawmakers about the fresh political development and meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal earlier on Sunday, Oli said that the party will take the decision on whether to support the government's agreement with the agitating Madhes-based parties only after receiving a written document. 

"Though the signal from the Madhesi parties to participate in the polls is positive, we can't trust the government or the agitating parties unless there is a written pact," UML chief whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal quoted Oli as saying in the meeting. 

In another context, Oli said that election and constitution amendment are not interrelated issues.  He said that his party will not support a constitution amendment bill which includes a proposal to change the provincial boundaries. Earlier in the day, during a meeting with Prime Minister Dahal, Oli had agreed to conduct the election in two phases. 

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