EC needs five laws, admin centres for local polls by May

Kathmandu, December 31

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma said five election bills must be passed and administrative centres of restructured bodies must be in place within the next 15 days if the EC is to hold local polls before mid-May.

Three election bills bill related to functions, duties and powers of the Election Commission and political parties,bill on Local Level Elections and Bill to Amend and Integrate Prevailing Law on Election Offences and Punishment are in the business list of the Parliament.

However, the government has not been able to table them due to obstruction of House meetings by the nine-party alliance led by the CPN-UML.

The Local Bodies’ Restructuring Commission has determined administrative centres for offices of the existing village councils and municipalities and their capacity should be extended with additional staff members, according to LBRC member Sunil Ranjan Singh.

The commission has already prepared its report proposing around 725 local bodies.

Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Hitraj Pandey said the ministry had already worked on the new structures. “We can use the offices of existing local bodies and deploy necessary staff and resources.

They could be brought into operation within 15 days after the commission’s report is received,” Pandey said.

The EC has already completed campaign for voters’ registration in 21 districts and is planning to complete the task in the remaining 54 districts, Sharma said.

It has also prepared a tentative operational plan for local polls.