CA polls likely to be postponed again
By Rajendra Pokhrel
Challenges are galore and many things need to be done to conduct elections in March-April, as declared by the government in November.
Time is running out. But, political parties are in no mood to reach a compromise, even as the President goes on serving them deadline after deadline to form a government of national consensus, and prepare for election. It has become next to certain that the election will be called off again, political leaders themselves have started saying.
Parties in the opposition, Nepali Congress and UML, are saying that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai needs to put in his papers before any deal is reached on conducting the election. But the ruling coalition has been insisting that the present government should be transformed into a one of national unity.
"Nepali Congress and UML were trying to create a rift inside UCPN
(Maoist) by saying that PM Baburam Bhattarai was the lone obstacle to a resolution to the current political crisis," said UCPN(M) leader Hemanta Prakash Oli. He added that, now party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Bhattarai have agreed that the latter's resignation only would not help resolve the crisis.
"UCPN (Maoist) leaders want to prolong their stay in power and have been falsely accusing Nepali Congress of not wanting to head for election," said NC Spokesperson Dilendra Prasad Badu. "Maoist chief Dahal comes up with a new 'proposal' every day. He does not want an inter-party deal as he wants PM Bhattrai to stay in power as long as possible."
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has said that if political parties do not reach a deal on conducting the CA poll soon, it will not be able to conduct election in March-April. Ayodhi Yadav, spokesperson for the commission, said that the constitutional body needs two months to prepare for polls after election laws are updated and the constitution amended.
"As the constitution states that borders for constituencies need to be drawn as per latest census data," added Yadav.
"Although NC, UML and UCPN (Maoist) may agree to the 240 constituencies drawn up for the previous election, Madhes-based parties are unlikely to do so. The recent census report shows that the population of Madhes has gone up."
'Reinstate CA for one day'
Former Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Subas Nembang has been maintaining that the dissolved constitution-making body needs to be reinstated, for a day, to pave the way for elections. He said that if constitutional hurdles for election are removed through a Presidential decree, the Supreme Court may not accept the validity of such an order. Nepalnews.com