The Nepal government has postponed the second phase of local level election to June 23, in a bid to ensure agitating parties’ participation in the polls. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in the cabinet meeting, had proposed to postpone the date to ensure participation of RJP-N. Main opposition UML also showed flexibility to postpone election if it ensured participation of the agitating Madhesi-based party.
According to the Kathmandu Post, the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N), a unified force of six Madhes-based parties, and some other agitating Janajati forces had been objecting to the June 14 polls, saying their demands for a Constitution Amendment and revision of a number of local units and boundaries still remained unaddressed. The RJP-N has long been demanding that the government increase the number of local units in Tarai districts on the basis of population.
The government on May 22 have decided to add 22 local levels in the volatile southern plains in order to appease the disguntled parties. The government also have published the decision in the Nepal Gazette for implementation. A government bid to add 22 local units in 12 Tarai districts was blocked by the Supreme Court on Friday, saying that changing the number and boundaries of local units in the middle of two phases of elections was against the Local Level Election Act 2017.
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The government on Monday also decided to amend the Local Level Election Act to allow the RJP-N enough time to provide names and signatures of party officials to the Election Commission (EC) for its participation in the polls. “The government decided to hold the second phase of local elections on June 23 to bring those parties which could not take part in the first phase of elections on board the poll process,” Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Karki said after Monday’s Cabinet meeting. According to Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma, the Cabinet also decided to request the Supreme Court to vacate its Friday’s interim order.