KATHMANDU, JUN 04 – The Election Commission on Sunday formally came up with a list of provisions in the Interim Constitution and other electoral laws that require amendment to hold fresh Constituent Assembly elections. The list has been forwarded to the government.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had on May 27 announced fresh elections minutes before the CA dissolution.
The EC has reiterated that it cannot hold the polls, scheduled for November 22, until the laws, including in the Interim Constitution, are amended three months ahead of the elections.
“The election commissioners have already met the prime minister and discussed the constitutional hurdles and today a formal letter was sent to the Office of the Prime Minister that mentions the laws that require amendment for the fresh elections,” said EC Spokesman Sharada Prasad Trital.
In the letter, the EC has sought amendment of five provisions in the Interim Constitution and seven electoral acts. The constitution does not envision another CA elections and some clauses are against the government decision to go for fresh polls.
The constitution states that Nepali citizens who have attained the age of 18 by December 15, 2006, will be entitled to vote in the CA elections. If this provision is not amended, a large number of people who now are eligible as voters will not be able to exercise their adult franchise.
Asked how the government will amend those laws and hold fresh elections in the face of protests, mainly by the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, Bhattarai’s Political Advisor Devendra Poudel said the issues will be sorted out through consensus. “There are some conflicting matters. The PM will hold discussions with the parties and forge consensus.”
Nineteen parties, including the NC and the UML, have been protesting the government’s poll decision, saying it was a “unilateral decision.”Post Report