Parties split over govt poll plan

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 18:

Even as the government is making efforts to announce the dates for fresh parliamentary elections to accomplish the King’s mandate, the political parties are divided over the issue.

Pointing at the government failure to provide security even to the chief district officer (CDO), Nepali Congress (NC), which has been demanding that the dissolved House of Representatives be restored, labelled the government’s plan to hold polls as “foolishness”.

Elections, as Nepali Congress spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC told reporters at a programme organised by Dialogue Club Nepal, was a “conspiracy” to provide legitimacy to regression.

“Isn’t it ridiculous to talk about the polls when the situation is not favourable?” KC queried, reiterating that the House be restored. Asked whether his part would take part in the polls, KC said that his party would “wait and watch”. “Let the government decide first.” Contradicting KC, CPN-UML standing committee member KP Oli opined that the only way out to the crisis would be to go for elections. “What when the Maoists give a damn to the government’s call for dialogue?” he queried but hastened to add that the government should keep doors open for talks.

Oli lambasted the coalition partners and the government for failing to implement the 43-point Common Minimum Programme (CMP), saying, “The government has done nothing except raising prices and tax.” “The government deserves a gold medal for all its foolish accomplishments.” The best way, he suggested, was a consensus among all political forces to hook out the country from the prevailing turmoil but insisted that booths for general elections should not be centralised to Singha Durbar or army barracks, but on public places.

Spokesperson for the Nepali Congress (Democratic), Dr Minendra Rizal, was of the view that the situation could further worsen if elections were not held.

Saying that the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) was against the idea of the House revival, party spokesperson Roshan Karki said that either the government should announce the dates for polls or should step down.

Pari Thapa of the Janamorcha Nepal laid emphasis on consensus among political parties for a “fresh start” but ridiculed the government for talking about polls at the current adverse situation. “The government should rather prioritise peace talks.”