It Useless To Hold Local Polls

Former minister and president of Sadbhavana Party RAJENDRA MAHATO spoke to New Spotlight.

March 24, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 07 No. -18 Mar. 21- 2014 (Chaitra 07, 2070)

As the government is stressing the need to hold the local elections by June, how do Madhesh based parties look at this?

It is useless to hold the local elections at this juncture. Since the country’s major political parties have already made it clear that they will promulgate the new constitution within a year, why does the country need the local elections now?

Do you mean there is no need to hold the local elections?

We are not opposing elections at all. If there will be a new constitution for a federal democratic republic of Nepal within a year, I cannot justify the holding of the elections for just a year. After the promulgation of the new federal constitution, there will be the need to redraw the boundaries of current Village Development Committees, District Development Committees and Municipalities. The election at the present juncture is unjustifiable. If the local bodies can run without elected representatives for such a long period of time, what harm will happen in one year and what miracle will the elected representative do in the year?

As the leaders of the government have been stressing elections for local bodies by June, what stand will your party take in case they announce the elections?

First of all the leaders of ruling coalition are themselves against the elections. What they want to do is to  put blame on us for not holding the elections. Reading the statements of political leaders, what I can draw is this conclusion that leaders of ruling parties do not want the elections any time soon.

What will you do in case the elections are held?

Our stand is clear. We want the new federal democratic republic constitution within a year. After the promulgation of the new constitution, there will be the need to hold the elections for the provinces and the provinces can hold the elections for local bodies. There will be a political confrontation in case the government holds the elections without the consent of all the parties.

Your statement showed that you are against the elected representatives at the grass root level. What do you say?

Holding the elections for the local bodies at this time will undermine the federal system of government. I think this is also a part of conspiracy against the federal structures. In this sense, we are opposing conspiracy not opposing right to vote or have elected representatives at the local level.

How possible do you see will it be to get the new constitution within a year?

There are plenty of reasons to be doubtful. If a Constituent Assembly cannot draft its own regulation within a month, how can I believe that it can draft the new constitution within a year? It is merely a foolishness to believe that.

If they promulgate the new constitution, what will be your response?

I will be very happy in case my statement is proved wrong.

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