KATHMANDU (Xinhua) — The Nepalese government said on Monday that the second round of local body elections scheduled for June 14 in the Southern Terai plains of the country was rescheduled and will be held on June 23.
A meeting of the Council of ministers held in the capital made such a decision to bring on board the agitating Madhes-based parties in the elections which had skipped the first round of elections earlier this month, Minister for Poverty Alleviation Ridayaram Thani told the media.
In the second round, elections will be held in 1, 2, 5 and 7 provinces of the Himalayan country that borders India.
The first round of elections were held in 3, 4 and 6 provinces on May 14, mostly the hilly areas.
The minister said that the government will initiate process to bring a new bill to amend the Political Parties’ Registration Act so that the Madhes-based six parties could register their newly-formed Rashtriya Janata Party in the Election Commission.
The government’s decision to postpone the second round of elections by 10 days came two days after the agitating ethnic Madhes-based parties launched fresh round of protests to boycott and disrupt the second round of local body elections.
The fundamental demand of the Madhes-based parties is to change demarcation of the provincial boundaries which the government has failed to fulfill, the leaders of the Madhes-based parties said.
A key leader of the agitating alliance, Rajendra Mahato, told the media that the revised constitutional amendment tabled by the government at the House did not meet their demands, forcing them to launch the fresh protests to disrupt the polls.
The Madhes-based parties, which represent Nepal’s southern Terai plains, announced their unification and the launch of a new group called Rashtriya Janata Party earlier last month.
Negotiations between the Madhes-based parties and the government have failed to yield positive results so far to resolve disputes over the constitution.
The government has registered the new constitution amendment bill at the House in a bid to persuade the Madhes-based parties to participate in all three tiers of elections, local, provincial and central.
As many as 50 people including security personnel were killed in violent clashes in Nepal’s southern Terai plains during the protests in 2015 following the promulgation of new national charter.