KATHMANDU: The government has decided to hold the elections in local bodies across the country in one phase and fixed the poll date as May 14. 

A Cabinet meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers in Singhadarbar complex took decision to this effect.

Also, the meeting  decided to provide Rs 10.296 billion to the Election Commission immediately for the polls.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister had held final consultations with the Election Commission.

It was Cabinet's third meeting of the day.

The civic polls have been announced despite the protest from Madhesi parties, who had been demanding an amendment to the Constitution prior to the poll announcement.

Last local elections were held in Nepal in May 1997.

After the tenure of local bodies ended, the then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had failed to conduct fresh elections, apparently owing to the Maoist threat and his political ambitions. Deuba's recommendation to postpone the parliamentary elections in the end of 2002 led King Gyanendra to dismiss him from the helm of government on charge of incompetence.

Local elections held in 2005 by the King Gyanendra during his direct rule were widely boycotted by the major political parties and ineffective.


Preparations

The Election Commission has already started exploring the logistic requirements, including press where ballot papers could be printed, and updating the voters' list. It has also started making estimates of the human resources.

It has been learned that the EC is mulling over seeking support to conduct polls from major donor countries, such as India, China and Japan, which had also assisted Nepal in the previous elections.


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