Nepal likely to hold local elections on May 18 in single phase

Kathmandu, NepalWritten By: Saloni MurarkaUpdated: Feb 02, 2022, 09:07 AM IST

File photo: Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba can be seen addressing the parliament in Kathmandu. Photograph:(AFP)

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Deuba is preparing to convene a cabinet meeting to announce the polls after discussions with the officials

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday held a meeting with the officials of the country's Election Commission during which it was proposed to conduct the local level elections on May 18. 

The government has been to and fro on taking decisions on election dates. 

In a six-point proposal submitted to the government on Tuesday, the Commission said that it would cost more if the local level elections are not held in one phase. 

The Election Commission has estimated that it will cost around Rs 12 billion to conduct the local polls in a single phase. The commission has said the previous local polls held in three phases had cost Rs 8 billion and two million voters have increased in the past five years. 

"Works of collecting and updating the voter registration list, the review of the polling centres, and other logistics for holding the elections are currently underway. If the dates are announced on the proposed date the election commission is ready to hold polls," Shaligram Sharma Paudel," spokesperson at the Election Commission stated.

Deuba is preparing to convene a cabinet meeting to announce the polls after discussions with the officials. 

The Prime Minister is of the view that if the elections to the local bodies are held before May 19, the day the elected representatives complete their five-year term, the Local Level Elections Act 2017 needs to be amended as suggested by some constitutional and legal experts. 

The term of the locally-elected representatives is expiring on May 20 this year. The Election Commission had proposed local elections for April 27 in case of single-phase and on April 27 and May 5 in case of two phases. 

The commission needs 120 days from the date of the announcement for election-related management and preparation.

A meeting of the ruling alliance held on Saturday had decided to hold local polls within mid-June. This was after differences had emerged between the ruling parties over the date of local elections scheduled for April. 

Earlier, while addressing the nation on completing six months of the government formation, the Prime Minister said his leadership is committed to holding the elections on time and asked the Election Commission to prepare for it accordingly.