KATHMANDU, June 4: A week after the government announced an election to the Constituent Assembly, the Election Commission (EC) Sunday officially made it clear that it would not be able to hold the election scheduled for November 22 until the Interim Constitution and other related laws are not amended immediately.
The EC officials informed their position through a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. They also met President Ram Baran Yadav.
"We clearly told the president if the interim constitution was not amended and other election related acts are not reformed, the EC cannot hold the election on the date set by the government," Election Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung said after meeting the president.
According to Gurung, the EC on Sunday sent formal letter to the prime minister´s office regarding ´necessary´ amendments to election related laws and acts. The election commissioners had already informed its position to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Friday .
Gurung also said understanding among political parties was a must for a new election .
"We told the president that the political parties must reach an understanding for the new CA election to create favorable environment to hold the election on schedule," he added.
According to the EC officials, acts on the CA election, Election Commission and election to the members of the constituent assembly should be amended in order to hold the new election.
The Article 63 (7) of the interim constitution states ´´for the purpose of the election of the Constituent Assembly, every citizen of Nepal who has attained the age of eighteen years on or before the last day of the month of Mangsir of the year 2063 (15 December 2007) shall be entitled to vote, as provided in law´´.
"So, if this is not amended, hundred of thousands eligible voters will be barred from voting," said an EC official who wanted to stay anonymous.
Similarly, Article 142 (5) states ´´ a petition with the support and signature of at least ten thousand voters shall be required for the purpose of registration of a party for election. Provided that this provision shall not apply to the parties represented in the Interim Legislature Parliament´´.
The article also needs to be amended as there is no longer the Interim Legislature Parliament.
Likewise, Article 63 (3) (a) states ´´The members elected on the basis of first-past-the-post electoral system consisting of one member from each of the two hundred and forty election constituencies delimited by the Election Constituency Delimitation Commission constituted pursuant to Article 154 A, based on the population fixed by the national census preceding the election of the Constituent Assembly, while treat an administrative district as an elected district, and, as far as possible, maintaining the same proportionality between such districts and the number of members´´.
"We have recently carried out new census. So, if we want to make it basis for the new election, we must amend this article," said the official.