NEPAL LAW SOCIETY: Ready For Polls

Having long expertise in conducting election related activities; the Nepal Law Society has already taken the initiative to mobilize its nationwide network for the upcoming elections

Dec. 28, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.:06 No.-13 Dec.28-2012(Poush 13,2069)

Going by the current mood of the political parties, it is almost certain that the country will hold the new elections for the Constituent Assembly. The only disagreement among the major political parties is on who will hold the elections.

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has already asked the political parties to hold the elections at the earliest possible date to write a new constitution through the Constituent Assembly.

The Election Commission has also been making preparations for the coming elections. As soon as the ordinance proposed by the commission gets promulgated, the commission will begin the election process.

"The sooner the ordinance sent by the commission is promulgated, the better to start the elections process," said election commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung. "The commission is capable of holding the elections in April provided the logistics and legislative requirements are fulfilled."

Once the issue of formation of the government is settled, election preparations will begin nationwide.  At a time when the civil society organizations have been looking at the move of the political parties, the Nepal Law Society, an oldest organization of lawyers and jurists, has decided to mobilize its network throughout the country to start an election literacy campaign.

Following the restoration of democracy in 1990, the Nepal Law Society successfully completed its role as an impartial election observer in two local elections, three national elections and the last election of Constituent Assembly.  Besides assuming the observer role, the society has also been involved in carrying out election literacy campaigns throughout the country.

Be it in voter education or election observation, expertise is necessary for carrying out such campaigns. Having worked in the past six elections, the Law Society has already acquired enough of this expertise. As an organization of lawyers, the NLS has a nationwide footprint of network. Along with election experts, the NLS also has a strong pool of legal and constitutional experts to support the work related to legislation.

After the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May 2012, the Nepal Law Society has been involved in various programs to keep all the achievements made by dissolved Constituent Assembly in records so that the exercise carried out by the CA can be used as a reference for the new CA to be elected.

"As political parties have already prepared to hold the elections for the Constituent Assembly, the Law Society has started the process to mobilize its experts stationed in different villages and districts," said Krishna Man Pradhan, executive director of the Nepal Law Society. "Rather than moving in the last minute, the society has made efforts to mobilize the network a few months ahead."

With the growing disagreement and confusion among the major political parties, the first deadline set for election on November 22 has already been missed and the new date announced by the government is coming closer now.

"If we cannot make a concrete decision by the end of January, it is impossible to hold the elections in April 2013," said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. "The government is committed to hold the elections on schedule."


Given the commitment expressed by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, the prime minister, the election commission, leaders of political parties and civil society organizations, the time has come for organizations like the Nepal Law Society to prepare for the elections.
 

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