Kathmandu, December 13

A meeting of the three major parties held at Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s residence today agreed to announce dates of local polls within a few days.

The three top leaders PM Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli also agreed to forge consensus on four other key agendas constitution amendment, delimitation of electoral constituencies, passing of election related bills and deciding on the impeachment motion against Chief Commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Lok Man Singh Karki in following meetings, said the PM’s Secretariat in a statement.

The government is mulling over conducting polls between mid-April and early May, according to sources.

Civic polls have been held only twice in 1992 and in 1997 after the democratic system was reinstated in 1990. It has been almost 19 years since Nepali people elected their representatives for local bodies for a five-year term. The last local polls were held in two phases on May 17 and May 26 in 1997.

“We have reached understanding to hold another round of talks to forge consensus on constitution amendment and impeachment,” said Deuba after the meeting.

UML Chairman Oli said. “We dwelt on passing poll related bills. We’ll sit again soon to iron out differences on constitution amendment and announce poll dates,” Oli said.

Prime Minister Dahal, addressing a programme at Basantapur today, said the government was preparing to announce poll dates.

“I held serious talks with top leaders of the major parties this morning. Since the government’s top priority is to implement the constitution, it will announce dates for holding local polls in a few days,” Dahal said. He was expecting cooperation from all sides to conduct polls. The PM said he was making efforts to make the constitution acceptable to the people of plains, hills and mountains.

Meanwhile, Deuba today instructed NC workers to begin preparation for local polls, as the government was going to announce poll dates soon. “There is no alternative but to implement the constitution.

We should conduct local polls under existing structure if consensus cannot be forged on restructuring local bodies within a few days,” Deuba said while addressing a function of Nepal Tarun Dal at NC headquarters in Sanepa.

Amendment must before polls: Mahato

KATHMANDU: The United Democratic Madhesi Front, an alliance of agitating Madhes-based parties, will not accept civic polls without constitution amendment, Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato told THT.

“We want elections to be held at all three levels  local, provincial and parliamentary. However, we will not allow polls to be held before our concerns are addressed by amending the constitution,” Mahato said.

The agitating Madhes-based parties have been demanding that federal boundaries be redrawn by amending the constitution.

The main opposition party, CPN-UML, however, has been insisting on withdrawing the constitution amendment bill registered by the government on November 29.