Local election unlikely before new statute

KATHMANDU: The elections of the local bodies are unlikely to be held before the drafting of the new constitution in the country.

The elections of the local bodies, which is supposed to take place every five years, was last held 12 years ago. Minister for Local Development Purna Kumar Sherma Limbu, today said that there were less chances of holding the local elections before the drafting of the new constitution.

Speaking at an interaction organised by the Reporters’ Club Nepal, he said that the election would be held only after taking the peace process to a logical conclusion.

Minister Limbu, however, said that attempts were still being made on whether to nominate the representatives for the local bodies or to hold elections for the posts.

“We are discussing on the issue, however, drafting the new constitution in time is more important than to hold the local level elections,” he added.

“The coalition government alone cannot decide on it without the consensus of all the political parties,” he said. He also said that the MoLD officers would be assigned to monitor the implementation of the budget in the districts.

Dormani Paudel, president of the Nepal Municipal Association, said the government neither could hold the elections of the local bodies nor could reinstate the past representatives as in the parliament.

“The government has tricked the people in the name of democracy,” he said, adding that democracy had been confined in Singhadurbar and Baluwatar. “The big three political parties are afraid of losing the elections and have failed to decide on the poll dates. However, the election must be held,” he added.

Bhim Prasad Dhungana, general secretary of the Village Development Committee National Federation, said that there was no alternative to elections.

Krishna Prasad Jaisi, acting president of the Federation of the District Development Committees, said that 50 per cent of the development activities were halted due to the absence of the elected representatives in the local bodies.

“If the election is held, it will help to move the peace process ahead,” he said. He accused the political parties of not being able to hold the elections.

Ramchandra Pokhrel, leader of the Nepali Congress, said that it was the weakness of the political parties of not being able to hold the elections. “However, it is now time to institutionalise the republic and to draft the new constitution,” he said.