EC asks govt to announce date for polls immediately

Kathmandu, August, 15

The Election Commission today asked Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to announce the date for polls and provide the report of the Constituency Delimitation Commission and pass election related laws, immediately.

EC office bearers, including Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, who met the prime minister, drew the PM’s attention to the constitutional deadline for holding elections.

As per the constitution, both elections — provincial and parliamentary — should be held prior to 21 January 2018.

“We have asked the PM to announce the polls date immediately and other things needed to hold elections,” said Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal. He said the election body could not start preparations until the government announced polls dates and provided the CDC report and amended laws related to elections.

The PM, in response, said that he would hold meetings with major political parties and reach a decision. According to Commissioner Dahal, the government could decide to hold both elections — provincial and the parliamentary — simultaneously, as time was running out for holding two elections separately.

The EC said that it also did not have the time and capacity to print ballot papers to hold both electionssimultaneously with four separate ballot papers, as over 70 million ballot papers were needed. The EC estimated that over 30 million voters’ roll were needed to hold both election at once using four ballot papers.

Even Janak Education Material Centre, from which the EC prints ballot papers did not have the capacity to print 70 million ballot papers for holding elections before the onset of winter, according to the polls panel.

Meanwhile, the EC has decided to extend collection of voters’ names by three days. The election body, which earlier had urged people to register their name in voters’ list by August 17, said that those who could not register their name in the voters’ list could register until August 20.

Likewise, the EC said it would enforce the polls code of conduct in Province 2 from August 18. Local level elections are slated for September 18 in 127 local levels of eight districts of province 2.