Parties Have Commitment To Local Polls

Deputy prime minister and Minister of Federal Affairs and Local Development PRAKASH MAN SINGH is stressing the need to hold the local elections soon. Singh, who represents NC at the CA from Kathmandu constituency no 1, 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)

How do you see the possibility of holding the local elections in June?

We have to hold the local elections by June as we all have promised to the people during the CA elections. The country’s  four major political parties have written a commitment paper to hold the elections.

What is the government doing to hold the elections then?

Our ministry has already drafted the new act so that the elections shall be held as part of the spirit of the Interim Constitution and as per our new inclusive policies. We have already forwarded the draft of the laws to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

At a time when the country’s major political parties, UCPN-Maoist and CPN-Maoist, have issued a statement threatening with measures to prevent the local elections, how do you claim that the government will hold the elections? Don’t you think there will be a political confrontation?

This is just a public statement. So far as UCPN-Maoist is concerned, it has made a public commitment along with our party to hold the elections for local bodies within six months. The government will hold the talks with CPN-Maoist before taking any decision.

As the country is heading towards federalism, what is the point in holding the local elections?

There is no question to go against federalism. Nepal is a federal, democratic and secular republic. However, the holding of the local elections has nothing to do with federalism and it is not against federalism.

Your party has made it clear that the new constitution will be promulgated within a year. If that is the case, what is wrong in waiting another few more months?

After the dissolution of local bodies 13 years ago, the service delivery at the local level is completely defunct. By holding the local elections, the government wants to revive the elected bodies and make the service delivery effective. The elections will also pave the way to revive the political life at the local level. The decision to hold the local elections was taken by our party, but it is the demand of the people to have local bodies.

As the chief election commissioner has already said that time is running out to prepare for the local elections in June due to the delay in the process of drafting the act, do you still believe that the elections will be held?

Holding the local elections is a political issue. The election is to empower the people and restore their democratic rights. We can still hold the elections after consulting with all political parties. I don’t think any political party will oppose it.

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