July 27, 2017
The Election Commission (EC) has rejected Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s proposal to conduct the provincial and central parliamentary elections simultaneously on account of the time constraints. Both the polls have to be completed before the constitutional deadline of January 21. PM Deuba had asked for a clarification from the EC about the possibility of reducing the high invalid vote percentage by holding the elections together. In spite of a huge budget being allocated for educating voters on proper voting, the local elections held recently had seen invalid voting of up to 23 percent.
Election Commissioner Dahal said that there is sufficient time to conduct both the elections separately. He stressed the need to set the poll dates at the earliest and requested the Prime Minister to clear the legal and administrative hurdles in this regard. According to informed sources, the Parliament could take another seven days to approve the pending election-related laws.
Former election commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety however said that it is possible to conduct the elections simultaneously if the EC desires, as it would help to reduce the election cost and also save time.