Friday, April 13, 2007

CA elections not possible on June 20: Election Commission
Ending the long suspense over the possibility of holding the Constituent Assembly elections on June 20, as agreed by the ruling eight parties, the Election Commission (EC) on Friday said it was not possible to hold the elections by the stipulated time.
Speaking at a press conference at the EC Office today, Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel said a number of "technical processes" were yet to be completed and that the time left was too inadequate to complete necessary preparations before the CA polls could be held.
According to our correspondent Durga Khanal, CEC Pokhrel also urged the government to give at least 110 days to the commission before announcing the polls date.
"A number of election-related laws are yet to be formulated and enacted. The government should give at least 110 days to the commission to hold the CA polls after formulating all election-related laws," said CEC Pokhrel.
Leaders of the eight parties had reached an agreement on April 1 to hold the elections on June 20.
On the same day, the interim government including the Maoists was also formed.
Earlier, while signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the parties had agreed to hold the CA elections by mid-June (within the Nepali month of Jyestha) but just before the Maoists were inducted into the interim government, the eight party leaders had decided to defer the polls date to June 20.
On the other hand, the CPN-M, one of the major allies of the ruling coalition government, had time and again warned that they would begin fresh rounds of protests if the CA elections were not held by the stipulated time.
Meanwhile, in the run-up to the CA elections, the Election Constituency Delineation Commission (ECDC) had handed in its report to the government on Thursday recommending an increase in the number of electoral constituencies by 35.
As per the ECDC suggestions, the total number of constituencies now will be 240 to elect representatives on the first-past-the-post system. The ECDC had recommended allocating at lest one constituency per 96,000 people in the Hilly and Terai regions.
The government was scheduled to hand in the ECDC report to the Election Commission today itself.

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