EC cancels all election programmes

KATHMANDU, Oct 5 - The Election Commission Friday decided to cancel all the election programmes after the government in a letter requested it to suspend the Constituent Assembly election slated November 22.
The commission had finished all necessary preparations to hold the elections on the given date, but as per the government’s request to suspend the entire election process, the decision has been taken, the EC stated in a press statement today.
The EC admitted that the will of the EC alone was not sufficed to hold the elections, and that the EC was forced to cancel all the election programmes due to the government’s decision.
As per article 63(2) of the interim constitution of Nepal, the government had decided to hold the polls on November 22.
We thank all political parties, leaders, the media, the general public and international community for extending their support during commission’s preparation work for the polls, said joint secretary at the EC, Laxman Bhattarai.
The government today faxed a request letter to the EC to cancel all election programmes, including today’s nominations and November polls.
A meeting of the seven parties held at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's residence at Baluwatar this morning took the decision.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) Friday said that the party has agreed to suspend the November 22 elections to maintain the seven-party unity and continue peace process.
Issuing a press release today, the CPN-M said that the party agreed to suspend the polls unless a decision is taken through the special House session regarding declaring the country a republic and adopting fully proportion electoral system.
However, the press statement stressed that the party still believes in holding the polls on November 22, provided its demands including an immediate declaration of a republic and adoption of fully proportional electoral system are met.
Earlier on September 30, EC had extended nomination deadline by five days following the government request to do so.
A facsimiled letter from the Prime Minister’s Office this morning to the commission, however, has no mention of a new poll date.
The seven political parties during today’s meeting agreed to postpone the November 22 polls.
This is the second time the polls have been postponed.
However CPN-UML, Janamorcha Nepal and Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party have written notes of dissent on the agreement.
CPN-UML leader Jhalanath Khanal had said yesterday, after the meeting, that UML, was of the opinion that the polls must be held on time.
During yesterday’s meeting the parties had agreed to suspend the entire election programmes till the special House session.
While a question on legitimacy and constitutionality of the government and parliament is being raised by experts with the second time poll postponement, some say that yet another amendment in the constitution could save the legitimacy once the special House session begins.
The CPN-Maoist along with the Left Front and the Nepal Communist Party of Nepal (United) on September 28 had registered a motion at the Prime Minister’s Office seeking a special House session.
As per the constitution, the prime minister has to summon a special House session within 15 days of the filing of the motion.


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