KATHMANDU, April 27: Riled by the ongoing preparations to conduct the elections in two phases and introduce the annual budget between two elections, the main opposition CPN-UML on Wednesday urged the Election Commission (EC) to abide by what it called “the fundamental principles of elections” while conducting the upcoming local polls.
A UML delegation led by the party's Deputy Parliamentary Party leader Subas Nembang objected to the EC"s consent to hold the elections in two phases against the commitment to conduct the polls in one go. 'You were firm on conducting the elections in one go when our delegation met you last time on April 20. Why are you going against your own commitment?' Nembang asked Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Ayodhee Prasad Yadav.
The party also expressed its serious objection to the EC"s decision to conduct the second phase of the local polls a month after the first phase, arguing that it would be tough to safeguard the ballot papers until the second phase of elections.
Against its previous preparations to conduct the elections on May 14 across the country, the EC has agreed to hold the elections in two phases. The first phase of elections, according to the revised election programs, will be conducted in 293 local units of 34 districts. In the first phase, the elections will take place in local units of Province 3, 4 and 6 on May 14, while the second phase of elections will take place in Province 1, 2, 5 and 7 on June 14.
The UML perceives the plan to conduct the elections in two phases and after a gap of a month as a “ploy” to influence the elections. 'The decision to conduct the elections in two phases has come with a bad intention. Since Jeth 15 (May 29) has been fixed as the Budget Day in the constitution, they want to introduce the budget between two elections and influence the second phase of elections,' said another UML leader Rajendra Pandey, who was present in the meeting.
In the meeting, the party also opposed the ongoing preparations to increase the numbers of local units in 11 tarai districts.
Even as the printing of ballot papers, voter roll and voter ID cards has been completed for the elections, the government is preparing to increase the number of local units in the tarai districts in a bid to bring the agitating Madhes-based parties on board the elections.
In response to the UML leaders" queries, CEC Yadav said the election body was forced to compromise its stance in a bid to help the government to bring the agitating parties on board the election process.
Meanwhile, UML leaders warned of opposing the elections if the fundamental principles of elections were compromised.