CPN-MC, UML warn against deferring polls

Kathmandu, October 26

The left alliance formed by the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre today said that postponing the upcoming elections under any pretext would be a threat to democracy.

Yesterday’s Supreme Court order to the Election Commission to print separate ballot papers for provincial and parliamentary elections is aimed at postponing the elections, a senior Maoist leader told THT.

UML Chair KP Sharma Oli and CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal said November 26 and December 7 elections could not be postponed on any pretext.

Oli and Dahal have been consulting stakeholders within and outside their parties, following the SC order.

Before addressing a joint press conference with Oli, Dahal met Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Barshaman Pun and Janardan Sharma at his Lazimpat residence earlier this morning. Oli also called an impromptu meeting of the UML standing committee to discuss latest developments.

Last evening, Oli and Dahal met President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and the meeting went on for about two hours till 9:00pm.

“The House has been dissolved and the election process has already started with nominations filed and closed lists for propositional representatation candidates submitted to the EC,” Dahal told mediapersons today.

“The election must not be postponed. In case the polls are deferred, the dissolved Parliament will be revived.”

Dahal said that the House of Representatives will be reinstated if the election is postponed. “The House of Representatives will be reinstated if the elections are postponed. The Parliament’s tenure ends on January 21,” Dahal said.

Oli said provincial and parliamentary elections would be held on time.

None of the top leaders of the two parties, including Oli, Dahal and former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal, said how they got the information that there was a design to postpone elections.

According to a statement issued at today’s press meet, the format of the single ballot paper does not compromise citizen’s constitutional, legal and fundamental rights in any way.

Dahal said the Maoist ministers would remain in the government until the elections were ensured.

“Because the country is passing through difficulties, Maoist ministers will stay on in the government,” Dahal said.

According to him, his party was preparing to withdraw from the government when he received a message from the Election Commission hinting that the elections could be postponed.