Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has suggested that Election Commission officials step up preparations for election by devising proper strategy based on its past election management experience in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya and other office-bearers of the EC today, PM Oli urged them to expedite work taking into consideration the mid-term election announced for November 12 and 19.

"On the one hand, COVID pandemic is raging, and on the other, election should be carried out within six months. There is no situation for deferring the election due to the pandemic. Amid the pandemic too, various countries including India, the US, the UK and Brazil have successfully completed elections," PM Oli said.

He told EC office bearers to expedite preparations in this difficult time as per the authority bestowed by the constitution and laws on the EC after election dates were announced.

Chief Election Commission Thapalya said the prime minster assured the commission of adequate security arrangement, budget and human resources for the election. Also present on the occasion were Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel, election commissioners Ram Prasad Bhandari and Janak Devi Tuladhar.

It was revealed that voter list would be updated after the amendments to the related laws with the consensus of political parties after the COVID infection rate dropped in the country.

Meanwhile, the EC has suggested that the PM should conduct polls in a single phase by making necessary security arrangements.

Chief Commissioner Thapaliya said the EC advised the PM to review the decision to hold polls in two phases.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 23, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.