KATHMANDU, June 14: President Ram Baran Yadav on Wednesday enquired with the election commissioners about complexities in holding Constituent Assembly (CA) election on November 22.
In a meeting with Acting Chief Commissioner Neelkanth Uprety, Commissioners Dolakh Bahadur Gurung and Ayodhi Prasad Yadav and EC Secretary Shankar Prasad Koirala at his office in Sheetal Niwas, President Yadav categorically asked them about the constitutional and legal complexities of holding the CA election.
"What are the constitutional and legal complexities and what needs to be done in order to hold the CA election?" Commissioner Yadav quoted the president as saying.
In response, the EC top officials said that some laws and election related provisions in the Interim Constitution must be amended to hold the CA election within the stipulated deadline.
"We told him that the elections can not be held until some amendments are made in the Interim Constitution and some new election related laws are introduced," said Commissioner Yadav.
The EC officials said they would send a written copy to the president regarding the legal and constitutional complexities involved in holding the CA election.
According to Commissioner Gurung, President Yadav also enquired about the budget required to hold the CA election. "We told him that the EC would need Rs 5 to 7 billion for the elections," stated Gurung, adding, "If we go for electronic voting, we would need Rs 2 billion just for buying Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)."
Responding to the president´s question about fairness in the elections, the commissioners told him that the EC was capable to see to it that the elections are free and fair.
"The EC should move towards holding a free and fair election," Yadav quoted the president.
The EC officials brought to the president´s notice two vacant posts of commissioners and stressed that the positions needed to be filled immediately.
According to Gurung, the EC has been preparing drafts for amending election related laws and acts. "We will send the draft to the government either by Sunday or Monday," Gurung added.
Meanwhile, the constitutional body has already informed the government that it cannot hold the CA election until the difficulties are removed.