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Cabinet, parties get down to June election business

KATHMANDU, MAR 16 -

Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi on Friday held marathon talks with top leaders of the major parties and sought their support in holding elections in June.

Regmi discussed with UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal ways to give a full shape to the Cabinet and form a high-level political mechanism to hold the polls.

Informed party sources said Regmi was advised to expand his Cabinet and appoint election commissioners without delay.

“We are fully committed to the agreement which we signed for the elections, while its fate now depends on you,” Khanal told Regmi.

Though the parties had agreed to form an 11-member Cabinet, Regmi on Thursday appointed only two members—Madhav Ghimire and Hari Prasad Neupane.

In Friday’s talks, Regmi urged the leaders to quickly form the proposed high-level political mechanism that will ease the government’s task of holding the elections. “We [parties] will sit for talks in a couple of days and form the mechanism,” Khanal told the Post.

Dahal and Koirala urged Regmi to start working for the polls. “The Nepali Congress has sacrificed big time to form this government, and as such, the elections in June must be ensured at any cost. We are with you,” Koirala reportedly told Regmi.

Parties gear up for the polls

With the formation of the Regmi-led government, major political parties are gearing up for the elections proposed for June 21.

Maoist Chairman Dahal on Friday directed his party cadres to get ready for the polls. “The government has been formed to hold the polls and we all should be ready to make them a success,” he said at a programme organised to welcome new cadres to his party.Leaders of the major parties on Friday said they will begin preparations for the elections in a couple of days. “We will formally begin our preparations in a couple of days,” NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula told the Post.

In an informal meeting, senior UML leaders briefed the party’s central committee leaders on the agreement, while they discussed ways to prepare for the polls. In the meeting at the party headquarters in Balkhu, senior leader KP Oli instructed other leaders to begin the poll campaign at all levels.

“We have no alternative, but to make the June polls a success. Our entire strength should be mobilised from the central to the local level to bring good results in the party’s fold,” Oli told the meeting.

Khanal, who did not attend the informal meeting, said he will call a meeting of the party’s Standing Committee to expedite polls preparations. Oli’s scheduled India visit has been postponed, while General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel, who is out of station, has been asked to return to Kathmandu.

Madhesi leaders under the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha are also upbeat about the polls. “Only elections can secure the achievement of a republic and our party is ready for the elections,” said Sadvawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato.

 

At the ready: EC

The Election Commission on Friday said it can hold the elections as planned. “Our preparations continue. Elections will be held in June if election commissioners are appointed on time,” said EC Secretary Narayan Gopal Malego.

The bureaucrat-led commission has intensified voter registration, the election education campaign, update of the electoral acts and verification of voters throughout the country.

Of the 17.6 million voters registered for the 2008 CA elections, the EC has so far registered 10.11 million voters under its newly-adopted biometric voter registration system. The 2011 census shows there are 15.4 million eligible voters as of February 13.

 

Posted on: 2013-03-16 08:19