Issue of local bodies remains unresolved

Kathmandu, January 25:

The row over reactivating the defunct local bodies continued even today as the CPN-UML insisted that they should either be fully revived or shared among the seven-party alliance.

The UML is pointing out that the parliament was formed as per the number of lawmakers of each party after the 1999 general election and the Maoists and the UML were given an equal number of seats, even though the UML had emerged as the second largest force in the then House of Representatives.

The UML had won almost a two-thirds majority in the local bodies election held in 1997.

If the result of the 1997 local election is to be followed, the UML would get the largest number of seats and the NC would be the second one.

“What we have proposed is that the local bodies should be run by a joint mechanism of the SPA along with the representation of the other parties in the House,” said Local Development Minister Dev Gurung, the coordinator of the SPA task force formed to suggest a way out of reactivating the local bodies.

He said the UML is insisting on reviving the local bodies and the Maoists could be accommodated in the posts fallen vacant. Gurung said reviving the local bodies was both impractical and unconstitutional.

Gurung said the problem can’t be resolved if the UML continues to stick to its stance. Rajendra Pandey, a UML leader and task forces member of the SPA, also conceded that they failed to reach a consensus as his party disagreed on the proposal forwarded by Minister Gurung.

Pandey said the local bodies should be reactivated on the basis of the 1990 general election which was set as the principle for forming the interim parliament.

The meeting was postponed till Sunday.