Nepal: Five major parties determined to hold elections on May 14

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KATHMANDU – Major five political parties have made it clear that the local-level election would be held on May 14, the date announced for holding it. However, they have spoken of the possibility of holding the election in the second phase (in some districts) if the dissenting Madhes-centric parties came on board to participate in it.

Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ summoned a meeting of top leaders of five political parties including Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) at the PM’s official residence, Baluwatar to discuss the country’s contemporary issues, primarily the election.

The leaders present at the meeting were univocal that the election would be held in a single phase on the scheduled date, clearing off doubts raised regarding the election.

Talking to media following the meeting, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba said the meeting focused on the issue of holding the upcoming May 14 election on the planned date at any cost. However, the election in some parts could be held in the second round if the protesting Madhes-centric parties agreed to join it, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi said the meeting also touched on the issues regarding the Madhesi Front’s programs of protest intended to obstruct the election and of holding the election by bringing the dissenting parties into a consensus. Stating that there was no flaw regarding the security arrangements for the upcoming election, the Home Minister said, “Four security agencies are on stand-by. The election will be held on May 14 at any cost.”

Deputy leader of the UML Parliamentary Party Subash Chandra Nembang informed that the meeting had to rule and the opposition parties discuss the matter to bring all political parties and groups along as far as possible to make the polls successful.

The meeting concluded that the entire elections would be organized across the nation in a single phase, he informed.

It also concluded that the ruling party should continue engaging with all disgruntled political parties including the Madhesi Morcha and Federal Alliance until the eleventh hour to bring them on board the polls and the opposition parties should play a constructive role in this regard.

On the other hand, Energy Minister Janardan Sharma said the elections could require the second phase to take place all over the country keeping in mind the preparations required if the Madhes-centric political parties agree to join the polls.

But he asserted that there is no doubt the elections would be organized within the stipulated time.

The meeting was also attended by Maoist Center leader Barshaman Pun, NC leader Prakash Man Singh, UML Acting Chairman Bamdev Gautam, leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Minister for Supplies Dipak Bohara from Rastriya Prajatantra Party and MJF-D Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and leader Ram Janam Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, the Morcha and Alliance has made public a protest schedule, reiterating that they would not participate in the polls.