THT 10 years ago: EC seeks Rs 2b for conducting CA polls

Kathmandu, June 25, 2007

Following the announcement of November 22 as the date for constituent assembly election, the Election Commission (EC) has asked the government to allocate at least 2 billion rupees for conducting the election.

“We have asked the government to allocate 2 billion rupees for the purpose of holding election in the budget for the next fiscal year,” Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel said today. The government had allocated 2 billion rupees for the constituent assembly election in the last fiscal year, too, but the election that was earlier scheduled for mid-June had to be postponed.

He said that 62 political parties have applied for registration in order to contest the constituent assembly election, but the EC is yet to decide on the matter. Asked about the EC’s plan to register the parties that comprise people indicted by the Rayamajhi Commission, Pokhrel said: “The EC would decide on the matter according to law.” “The EC has expedited the technical aspects in preparation of the constituent assembly election slated for November 22,” added Pokhrel. “The EC has been busy in finalizing the Rule, Directive and Code of Conduct related to the election.

The issue of Voters’ Education is also being finalised. Soon, the EC would come up with the timetable for the election.” Pokhrel said: “We believe that the government would accord high priority to creating a fearfree environment so that all citizens can participate in the election.” He said that the government should make security arrangements in such a way that all related actors and employees feel secure during election.

Outfits’ demands would be met: Koirala

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today assured Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang that he would address all outstanding demands raised by various organisations as part of the effort to pave way for peaceful elections to constituent assembly.

The assurance comes following announcement of elections and meeting between Nembang and Koirala at the latter’s residence in Baluwatar today. “The Prime Minister is committed to hold elections on time. This is what he said while reassuring me of timely elections,” Nembang said after the meeting today.

Nembang also claimed that Prime Minister Koirala has reassured him that the “demands of disgruntled outfits would be met very soon.” Koirala also said that making the right atmosphere was a matter of priority and that no stone would be left unturned in this connection.

The assurance from the Prime Minister comes amid concern over the fate of the elections to constituent assembly since the government is yet to reach any agreement with stirring outfits like the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) and its spliter groups including Tarai Tigers to ensure desired degree of public security during the November 22 polls.