Nepal: Local polls on May 14 and June 14

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The Cabinet meeting on Sunday has decided to hold the local election on May 14 and June 14 as per the agreement reached with the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) Saturday evening to hold the polls in two stages.

The meeting, that was stalled an hour after it started at noon at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers when Prime Minister (PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal left for Balkot to discuss the Saturday’s agreement with CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli, had again resumed after the one-hour impromptu one-to-one meeting between PM Dahal and Oli.

The local election now will be held on May 14 as originally scheduled in provinces 3, 4 and 6, and a month later in the second stage in the rest of the provinces, according to government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communication Surendra Karki.

The meeting has also proposed to extend the deadline for filing candidacy, for the places that hold election on May 14, by a few days from April 29 in consultation with the Election Commission after the Madhesi Front agreed to take part in the election, according to Karki.

The meeting has also proposed to revise the new constitution amendment bill, and get it passed by the parliament through a fast track. It has proposed to amend Article 7 related to language and Article 274 related to provincial demarcation. The government will form an all-powerful federal commission to decide on demarcation after amendment of the constitution.
The meeting has also decided to change the terms of reference of the committee formed under Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa for increasing the number of local units and bring other parties into it. The committee with a three-day mandate has not been able to submit its report in lack of consensus even after expiry of the deadline.

The Cabinet meeting has also formally urged the UDMF, that had announced protest programs, to take part in the election ending protests. It has also urged the main opposition CPN UML to help in passing the revised constitution amendment bill.