Amendments must before new poll date: EC

KATHMANDU: Election Commission has stated if the government fails to clear legal hurdles for the November poll within a week, the new dates would be announced only after the amendment of poll laws. The deadline for the amendment of legal provision provided by EC expired today.

Acting Chief Election Commissioner Neelkantha Uprety, who met top leaders of UCPN -Maoist, CPN-UML and Nepali Congress, said EC did not want to announce a new poll date in a hurry. Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, he said rather it should be done only after government and political parties are fully prepared for new poll. “We can wait for another week. If no progress is made, we will ask the government to fix a new date for the election only after clearing all the hurdles for the poll,” said Uprety.

He said EC could be flexible for a few more days to see if government succeeded in forging consensus among political parties. However, EC did not fix any deadline. Earlier, EC had demanded that the government amend the Interim Constitution and poll related laws by July 22, four months before the poll. Uprety believed that election was still possible on November 22 if the parties and the government became proactive.

UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and Nepali Congress Party leader Ramchandra Paudel met Uprety to find a way out to hold polls by amending poll laws. Uprety said the leaders assured the EC that poll laws would be amended within this week.

Dahal told mediapersons after the meeting that efforts were on to forge consensus. “Our party’s recently concluded extended meeting also decided to focus on the politics of consensus,” said Dahal, adding that amending the poll laws was the top priority.

However, CPN-UML and Nepali Congress leaders said there was no alternative but to defer the November election. Khanal and Paudel said election was announced in a hurry.
Ordinance to clear hurdles: PM
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said on Sunday that the government has completed groundwork to clear legal and constitutional hurdles to hold election on stipulated date. Addressing a press conference at Paris Danda, he said government is preparing a bill to bring it through an ordinance to clear the existing hurdles for the election.

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