Nepal | January 16, 2021

EC urged to stop snap poll preparation

Poll panel ‘unaware of any dispute in Nepal Communist Party’

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Chairpersons of Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal went to the Election Commission today and urged the poll panel to stop preparation for mid-term polls. On December 20, the government had dissolved the House of Representatives and announced snap polls for April 30 and May 10.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal (right) and Madhav Kumar Nepal waving to their supporters from the building of Election Commission during a protest against the dissolution of the House of Representatives, in Kathmandu, on Friday, December 25, 2020. Photo: THT

NCP leader Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, who accompanied Dahal and Nepal to the EC, said the EC was told that dissolution of the HoR was sub judice and the poll panel should stop its ‘meaningless’ preparation for the mid-term polls.

NCP Standing Committee member Lilamani Pokharel said his party leaders also asked the EC why it continued to recognise Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who had already been removed by his party from the post of co-chair of NCP.

Dahal and Nepal also wondered why the EC entertained the document submitted by Oli notifying it that his faction had amended the party statute and added new members to the Central Committee. “Our party statute stipulates that any amendment can be made only by the majority members of the Central Committee. We have the majority.

How can Oli, who is in minority, amend the party statute?” Lilamani Pokharel wondered.

NA lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari, who also accompanied Dahal and Nepal to the EC, said they sought copies of all the documents submitted by the Oli faction. He said the EC’s argument that none of the two factions claimed authenticity was wrong. “If the EC says that there is no dispute between the two factions as reported in the media, then the EC is wrong. It is clear that there is a dispute. The two factions have submitted different versions to the EC in the aftermath of the HoR dissolution and the EC must know that there is a dispute between the two factions. It is, therefore, the EC’s duty to take a call on which faction is the authentic NCP on the basis of the constitution, Political Party Act, relevant Rules, our party’s statute and the documents of the party submitted to the EC,” Bidari said.

He said the EC had wrongly asked them to make a claim as the authentic party and sent the notification of the same letter to Oli, but the EC corrected its mistake after they objected to the letter.

“Now the EC has written letters to both factions seeking documents and the details of both letters are the same,” he added.

“Why should our faction that commands majority in the party stake claim about being the authentic party. It is the Oli faction that will have to claim authenticity if it has enough supporting evidence,” he said.

EC Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said the EC had not been able to decide which faction was the authentic NCP because the documents submitted by both factions did not show there was a dispute between them.

“While in practice both factions continue to claim to represent the authentic NCP, details submitted by them indicate that they are one and the relevant clause that seeks to address dispute in a political party cannot be invoked,” he added.

Shrestha said EC officials told Dahal and Nepal that the poll panel had been preparing for snap polls as per legal provisions since the government had declared midterm polls.

A version of this article appears in print on January 12, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.

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