Amid discussions among major parties whether the country should go for local elections under the existing structure or the new federal set-up, the main opposition CPN-UML has floated the idea of skipping local and provincial polls and holding elections to federal parliament. During a standing committee meeting of the party on Thursday, almost all members are learnt to have made a pitch for federal elections, saying it’s already too late for local and provincial elections.
As per the constitutional deadline, the country must hold three levels of elections by January 2018. Senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal floated the idea of holding the elections to federal parliament by carving out 165 constituencies. “Almost all standing committee members agreed on the proposal,” said UML standing committee member Prithvi Subba Gurung, adding that local elections will not be able to resolve the looming constitutional crisis.
The UML’s view on going for federal elections comes just days after a tentative agreement among top leaders of three major parties that local elections should be held at the earliest. Thursday’s standing committee meeting entrusted party Chair Oli with the task of holding discussions with top leaders of major parties on holding federal elections. Subas Nembang, deputy leader of UML’s Parliamentary Party, however, said that the meeting decided to urge the government to ensure all three elections. He said the meeting held discussions on matters from different angles and holding federal elections was one of the ideas. According to Gurung, party’s standing committee members were of the view that holding local elections under the existing structure would be a regressive idea.
“Local elections under the new set-up do not seem feasible as the Local Level Restructuring Committee is struggling to complete its work. To hold local elections under the present set-up, an amendment to the constitution will be required,” he said. “In view of the time constraint, leaders suggested that going for federal elections could be a better idea.”
Tika R. Pradhan
16-12-2016 The kathmandu Post