Kathmandu, Jan 14: The Election Commission (EC) has said it wants the announcement of the local level election before January 21. The EC was for the political parties to agree on making such an announcement.
A consultative meeting was held by the EC with the political parties representing at federal, provincial and local levels regarding the voters' update and local level election. The EC also sought the views from political parties on the preparation being made for the National Assembly election, voters' update and local level election.
The political parties were informed about the constitution and legal provisions on the local election, the term of the representatives, provision on the announcement of the election date, EC's preparation and problems to be surfaced in absence of an election.
The five-year term of people's representatives at local levels is expiring on May 19, 2022. And for holding the local level election, at least 120 days are constitutionally required to accomplish the related works.
If the date of the local level election is not fixed within the third week of January, it would be technically, managerially and practically difficult to hold the local election, the EC reiterated.
In the consultative meeting, the representatives of the political parties appreciated the preparations EC made for the election and work for ensuring voting rights to migrant workers.
Some political parties which failed to get recognized as the national party due to threshold demanded amendment of laws. The EC was also suggested considering the use of electronic voting machines to conduct a cost-effective, free and fair election. Some also suggested holding the three-tier elections at the same time so as to reduce the election-related expenses as well as to curb the corruption surrounding the election.
Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya shared that preparation was underway for the upcoming National Assembly election observing all precautions against COVID-19.
Thapaliya said that the meeting was called to hold consultations before officially tabling the proposal for the local level election with the government. The EC, according to him, will furnish recommendations to the government on holding the local level elections in few days.
He assured to include the issue relating to granting electoral symbols to the political parties which were not recognized as the national political parties.
Present in the meeting were representatives from Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Centre), CPN (UML), CPN (Unified Socialist), Nepal Federal Socialist Party, Nepal Workers Peasants Party, CPN (ML), Janata Samajwadi Party and Nepali Janata Dal, among others.
Also attending the meetings were representatives from Nepal Pariwar Dal, Lokatantrik Samajwadi Party Nepal, Bibeksheel Sajha Party, Rastriya Janamukti Party, Rastriya Janamorcha and Sanghiya Lokatantrik Rastriya Manch, the Commission said.