KATHMANDU, July 11: At a meeting called by the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday, political parties differed over conducting fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) election announced by the government for November 22.
Ruling parties, including UCPN (Maoist), reiterated that there is no alternative to fresh CA polls while the main opposition parties -- Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML -- and other small parties claimed that the election could not be held on the stipulated date at any cost.
Speaking at the meeting, UCPN (Maoist) Politburo member Navraj Subedi stating that the government has no alternative to holding the CA polls, urged all political parties to make CA election a success.
Vice-chairman of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said fresh CA polls must be held if the parties are to abide by the Supreme Court´s recent ruling.
Similarly, Chairman of Sanghiya Sadbhawana Party and Industry Minister Anil Kumar Jha maintained that EC should offer alternatives if the interim constitution cannot be amended to facilitate fresh CA polls. Speaking at the meeting, NC central committee member Ananda Dhungana ruled out possibility of holding CA election on November 22.
"The government itself is not honest about holding the election. It only wants to portray democratic parties in a bad light. If the government were really honest about holding the election, it would have consulted other political parties," he added.
Stating that the caretaker government has lost constitutional grounds to hold CA election, CPN-UML politburo member Yogesh Bhattarai said the preparation for election is futile.
"The government is only trying to fool the people. The election commissioners should ask the prime minister how the election can possibly be held," he stated.
Chairman of Rastriya Janamorcha Chitra Bahadur KC said the government had no rights to announce fresh election. He also ruled out the possibility of holding election.
"I was informed that EC had invited chiefs of all the parties for discussion. But I do not see the presence of UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal. This justifies that they have not taken the election seriously," he added.
General Secretary of Rastriya Sadbhawana Party Kaushalendra Sharma termed the announcement of new CA election as a farce.
When asked about the EC´s conclusion after discussions with the political parties, Acting Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety said, "Nothing has changed. The ruling and opposition parties still differ over the election."