Assembly elections by mid-April, says Pandey

Dhading/Lahan, August 15 :

Minister for Local Development Rajendra Prasad Pandey today said the government is planning to hold elections to a Constituent Assembly by mid-April 2007.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Constituent Assembly and local bodies on the restructuring of the nation,’ in Dhadingbesi, Pandey said the royal government was overthrown by people through the Jana Andolan, but people still have to be alert on the possibility of the rise of the royal power.

“The government is working to form an inclusive state mechanism. However, national and international regressive forces are creating problems in the relationship between the seven political parties and the Maoists. Such forces want to put an end to loktantra, but we are alert and conscious,” Pandey said.

“The process for giving permanent appointment to officials working in local bodies on temporary appointments has already begun,” he said.

According to him, VDC secretaries would work as DDC officials, district technical office would be developed as a branch of the DDC and temporary women development officials would be made permanent and women development office would remain under the Ministry of Local Development.

Chairperson of the Association of District Development Committee of Nepal (ADDCN), Krishna Prasad Sapkota, presented a working paper on the occasion.

MP Ramnath Adhikari, secretary of Municipality Association of Nepal, Bidur Mainali, chairperson of National Association of VDCs Nepal, Mahim Limbu, central member of ADDCN, Lal Kumar KC and local political leaders also expressed their views at the two-day-long seminar.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for General Administration, Dharma Nath Shah, said today setting the date for elections to a constituent assembly was being delayed because the Maoists have been violating the ceasefire code of conduct signed between the government and the rebels.

Speaking at a press meet in Lahan today, Shah claimed the government has been exercising restraint to ensure that the peace talks are not derailed.

He, however, said that the Maoists have been violating ceasefire code of conduct and other agreements.

Shah said the government was ready to take responsibility of feeding the Maoist army, but the Maoist leadership is not clear about what is to be done with its militia and weapons.