THT 10 years ago: Poll process to be suspended

Kathmandu, October 4, 2007

The day-long meeting of the seven political parties informally agreed today to “suspend all the election processes” till the special session of the interim parliament called by the CPN-Maoist.

According to the interim constitution, the Prime Minister has to call a session of the interim parliament within 15 days if a motion for a special session is registered. A few days ago, the CPN(M) had done so.

The leaders are to hold another meeting tomorrow to take a formal decision to this effect, leaders said. It is likely that the seven parties would request the Election Commission to suspend all the election programmes till the special session of the parliament which may defer the election by a few more months.

The second amendment of the interim constitution has stated that the assembly polls would be held not later than November. A cabinet meeting of the interim government had, on June 24, decided to hold the election on November 22.

The EC, on September 30, delayed the date of filing nomination of candidates for proportional representation system by five days and another date of filing nomination of candidates for the first-past-the-post by three days on the parties’ request. But the EC has said that it can postpone the election programme only once.

“We propose to suspend the entire election processes till the special session of the parliament, which will decide the next political course. Other constituents of the seven parties alliance also agreed to it.

We will take an appropriate decision tomorrow,” Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara told the media persons at the end of today’s meeting.

Govt, House would lose legitimacy, say experts

Legal experts today said that the government and the parliament would lose their legitimacy if the government defers the November 22 Constituent Assembly polls.

“This government would lose its legitimacy if it defers the election again,” former president of the Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa told this daily. “If the parties, including the Maoists, decide again to defer the election, people will know that the parties do not want to hold the election, but want to continue in power,” he added.

“If they amend the Constitution again to defer the date of the election, that would be nothing but an eyewash for the people. They would lose their legitimacy because the amendment of the constitution cannot gain credibility.” Thapa added.

Another constitutional lawer Bhimarjun Acharya also said that all the three existing power players — the seven-party alliance, the interim government and the parliament — would all lose constitutional and legal legitimacy. “The constitution is not merely a technical document; so the government should not amend it repeatedly to gain legitimacy,” he said.