EC ready to hold local election: Acting Chief Election Commissioner

Kathmandu, June 28

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli visited the Election Commission and inquired about plans, preparations and challenges for holding local elections declared by the government.

The cabinet meeting on June 16 had made an ambitious decision to hold local elections by mid-December, Pradesh elections by mid-June 2017 and election of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly in November 2017.

PM Oli enquired about preparations, saying that the election of local bodies should be held soon.

In response Acting Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said the EC needs 120 days for preparations and was ready for elections.

He said the draft bills of the Political Parties Act, Political Parties Registration Act, Election Commission Act, Voters’ Registration Act, Election Offence and Punishment Act should be endorsed for elections to happen.

According to Election Commissioner Ila Sharma, Yadav said the EC needs to have a report of the Local Bodies Restructuring Commission for holding local elections.

He also informed the prime minister that the EC had almost finalised the draft bill of Local Level Working Procedure Act and that should also be endorsed by parliament.

Yadav also requested the PM to help endorse the EC’s reforms in relation to several issues, including provisions of financial transparency of parties, expenditure for elections and mandatory provision for parties to submit their annual reports, public funding, ensuring inclusiveness and the provision of threshold, among others.

UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang said the EC informed that it was ready to hold local elections by mid-December. He said the PM told the EC that the government was ready to provide necessary support to ensure timely local elections.