THT 10 YEARS AGO: Interim House passes poll bills
Kathmandu, March 26, 2007
Interim parliament today unanimously passed the Election Commission Bill, 2007 and Election (Crime and Punishment) Bill, 2007 paving the way for the EC to further proceed its work for holding constituent assembly polls. The bills, which were earlier finalised by the parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC), were tabled before the House by Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula. SAC chairperson Amod Prasad Upadhaya presented SAC’s report on the bills at the first meeting of the House today. “We have passed both the bills without much changes,” said Hirdaya Ram Thani, a member of the SAC. He said the bills addressed only the political parties and not their sister wings. The Election Commission Bill has authorised Election Commission to fix ceiling on the expenditure of candidates and to fine anyone topping the ceiling. Any candidate spending above the ceiling will not only lose her/his candidacy but would also be disqualified for the elections for six years. The Bill requires the candidates to submit details of their election expenses to the concerned election office within 35 days of the announcement of the election results. EC has also been authorised to formulate code of conduct for political parties, media and government offices to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Maoists float Friday deadline to form interim govt
Kathmandu, March 26, 2007
The Maoist leadership is learnt to have reached a conclusion that third Jana Andolan was imminent if an interim government was not formed within a couple of days. Maoist chairman Prachanda is said to have made clear his position to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala that they would not wait for joining the interim government if that was not formed by Friday. During an informal meeting of the Maoist’s central secretariat on Sunday, most of the central leaders suggested that it would be meaningless to join the interim government, which would not be able to hold the constituent assembly election in mid-June, the date set by the eight parties on October 10. “We cannot wait for more than two to three days for the formation of the interim government. If the prime minister is not ready to form the interim government by then, there is no alternative to the third peaceful Jana Andolan, which will force the government to declare the date for assembly election,” said Dev Gurung, a member of the Maoist Talks Team and deputy leader of the Maoist parliamentary party. Although Gurung denied having held any meeting of the central secretariat, almost all the central committee members had reminded the leadership that assembly polls would not be held in time due to the PM’s delay in forming the interim government.