Poll dates after pact with UDMF: PM

Chitwan, February 8

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that the government cannot announce election dates without an agreement with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders.

“Elections will happen, be it in April/May or May/June, but the dates can be announced only after an agreement with the UDMF and other political parties,” said the PM, while speaking at a press conference at Bharatpur airport today.

He urged the people not to doubt the government’s intention. “If the government didn’t want elections, why would we ask the Election Commission to start preparations for polls?” he asked. “The government has refrained from fixing poll dates because we want to bring everyone on board for elections,” the PM added.

“To meet one of the UDMF’s demands, our first priority will be to get the constitution amendment bill passed in the Parliament. Failing that, we will figure out other ways to forge consensus among political parties and facilitate elections,” said PM Dahal, who stopped short of explaining what that alternative would be.

While speaking at a training programme organised by the CPN-Maoist Centre’s Chitwan chapter here, the PM, who is CPN-MC chairperson, pointed out the country would face a serious crisis in case of failure to implement the constitution.

“As the present achievements are due to the Maoist struggle, it’s our responsibility to ensure institutionalisation of the gains,” said the Maoist leader, calling on the party leaders to start preparations for elections.