September 25, 2017
Nepal is receiving a wide appreciation for the successful completion of its landmark local-level elections.
The Government of Nepal considered the local body polls as a prestigious matter and had also claimed that ‘holding of local-level elections on time’ as its major achievement in first 100 days of its functioning.
Not just Nepal, its friendly countries are also of hope that the recently-held local-level polls would open avenues for new style of government functioning in the country.
UN Secretary-General Lauds Nepal
The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guteress congratulated Nepal on successful completion of its three-tier local polls held recently.
The UN official was speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly currently currently being held in New York, wherein, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is representing Nepal.
In a high-level meeting with PM Deuba, Antonio Guteress also appreciated Nepal on latest developments and its ongoing process of institutionalizing democracy, informed Deuba’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Dinesh Bhattarai.
Local Elections Held Peacefully, Says Japan
In a recent update, Japan congratulated Nepal hailing the way the elections were organized.
“Japan appreciates that, overall, the local elections were conducted in a peaceful and fair manner,” said the Embassy of Japan in a statement, citing the observations made by a special Japanese team including the Embassy of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Nepali local polls.
“Japan would like to pay its sincere respects to the people of Nepal who contributed to the successful holding of local elections after a break of 20 years,” the Embassy further added, “This is a significant progress towards the implementation of the constitution that was promulgated in 2015.”
Extending Japan’s support to the Himalayan nation, the Embassy further informed, “Japan is committed to supporting the government of Nepal to the best possible extent.”
A Significant Milestone for Nepal: US
In his greetings to the 2nd Nepali Constitution Day yesterday, the United States President Donald Trump hailed Nepal for successful holding of local body polls.
“Most importantly, you have held the first local elections in 20 years – a significant milestone for your democratic government,” said Donald Trump.
“Nepal has achieved important progress,” he added.
Indian Prime Minister also hailed Nepal saying, “As a close friend and neighbour, India remains steadfast in its support to the people and Government of Nepal in their national efforts to achieve peace, stability and development.”
Local Governance Act Endorsed
Meanwhile, following the local polls in Province 2, the Legislature Parliament of Nepal yesterday endorsed the Local Level Governance Act for the full-fledged functioning of local bodies elected through earlier phases.
Since the time they were formed, the local bodies of Provinces 1,3,4,5,6 and 7 have limited their operations only to administrative works due to lack of relevant Act.
“The newly-elected bodies can now function effectively after the Act comes into effect,” said the Minister for Land Reform Gopal Dahit while presenting the bill for endorsement.
The new bill, yet to be signed by the President, allows the local governments to change their names and operating centers (if required), change the status and boundaries of the wards, besides granting them executive, legislative and judicial rights.
CPN-UML Leading the Way
According to the latest update, CPN-UML is leading the overall local polls race with 276 seats and 18 majority, followed by Nepali Congress (226 seats). Whereas, the case is exactly reverse in Province-2 as Nepali Congress is leading with 35 seats majority, followed by Others (22) and CPI-UML (18).
The local elections, planned in three phases, ended yesterday with a record voter turnout in the third phase polls (compared to earlier phases) in Province 2. The first and second phases of local elections were held on May 14 and June 28.
Now, the country is eagerly waiting for its provincial and federal elections scheduled for November 26, 2017, and December 7, 2017, respectively.