August 8, 2017
In a recent update on upcoming polls in the country, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba asked the Election Commission (EC) to plan for conducting both the provincial and federal elections at a time.
Deuba’s statement followed EC’s call to the government to announce the date for conducting provincial and federal parliamentary elections by August 17. In this regard, EC met Deuba on Monday.
According to PM’s senior press coordinator Govinda Pariyar, PM’s decision of holding the elections together aimed at ensuring timely polls for meeting the constitutional deadline and also minimize related expenditure.
Deuba also informed EC officials that the two election-related laws that are pending would also be passed by the Parliament soon. The Constituency Delimitation Commission (CDC) is also yet to submit its report, which is vital to conduct elections.
The Commission also sought clarification over the usage of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for elections to plan training sessions for the concerned personnel on EVM usage. To this, Deuba asked if EC could complete procurement and voter awareness programmes in a short time.
Election Commissioner Ila Sharma informed that they have also discussed about the ‘voters’ right to reject the candidates’ option in line with the Supreme Court verdict. The Commissioner also urged PM to ensure voting right to Nepali citizens living abroad.
“We may not implement such provision immediately, but the law should open the door for EC to make arrangements for involving Nepalis living abroad in the polls in future,” said the Commissioner.