Polls in two phases, constitution amendment thru fast track


KATHMANDU:  The ruling parties and the agitating Federal Alliance on Saturday made a breakthrough agreement to end the political stalemate with an understanding to endorse the new constitution amendment bill through a fast track after some revision, and hold the local level elections in two phases.

A meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday will formally endorse the agreement regarding the constitution amendment and holding elections in two phases.

The three-point agreement, which is expected to be formally signed tomorrow by the top leaders of both the sides, includes withdrawal of all agitation programmes announced by the Federal Alliance and its constituent United Democratic Madhesi Front.

The first phase of elections will be held on May 31 as scheduled, the PM's Secretariat said in a statement this evening, adding that the  government will consult the Election Commission before fixing the date for second phase of elections.

But it has been learned that the two sides have agreed to hold the second phase of elections on June 14 in Tarai-Madhes region where number of local levels will be increased. The date will be formally announced later.

Elections will be held in Province No. 3, 4 and 6 in the first phase on May 31, while elections will be held in Province No. 1, 2, 5 and 7 , where the number of local levels will be altered, in June, according to leaders who took part in today's meeting.

According to the PM's Secretariat, the two sides agreed to

  • increase the number of constituencies and local levels in Tarai-Madhes region considering population densit
  • resolve the issues of provincial boundaries through a powerful federal commission
  • include Language Commission's recommendation on official languages in the constitution's schedule
  • move ahead with the proposal on citizenship that the government has presented in the Parliament.

With a warning to boycott the local level elections, the parties affiliated with United Democratic Madhesi Front and Federal Alliance had been demanding that the constitution be amended to meet their demands.