Elections on November 22 almost impossible as consensus eludes, Deadline for clearing hurdles expires tomorrow

KATHMANDU: It has now become a certainty that fresh elections cannot be held on November 22 as declared by the government.

The Election Commission had told the government that all legal hurdles related to elections and election procedures must be cleared 120 days ahead of the poll date. The EC deadline expires on Sunday and possibility of forging consensus among political parties to amend the Interim Constitution to clear the decks for November 22 polls is nil. “There is no alternative to announcing a new date,” a highly placed source at the Office of the Prime Minister told The Himalayan Times. “Chances of amending the constitution and election laws in two days are slim.”

The EC had said 13 constitutional and legal provisions must be amended by July 22 if the government is to hold elections on November 22.

Acting Chief Election Commissioner Neelkantha Uprety told this daily that the EC on its part was all set to hold elections on the declared date, as it has already completed its technical preparations. “It is the government which should have cleared the legal and constitutional hurdles to facilitate the EC to do its job,” said Uprety. “It’s the political parties which should create an environment for holding polls.”

A source at the EC said even after July 22, the EC would wait for one more week to see if the government did anything to pave the way for polls on November 22. “If not, the EC will hold discussions with the government for another date for the polls,” he said.ANANTA RAJ LUITEL/ SANTOSH P POKHAREL from THT

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