Nepal defers date for local polls again

Published on May 31, 2017 10:42 PM IST

A Cabinet meeting decided to change the date for the second phase of polls from June 23 to June 28 in view of the holy month of Ramzan.

Nepalese Muslims offer prayers. A Muslim delegation had called on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” on Tuesday to draw his attention to the inconvenience the community could face if elections were held during Ramzan.(AFP file photo)
Nepalese Muslims offer prayers. A Muslim delegation had called on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” on Tuesday to draw his attention to the inconvenience the community could face if elections were held during Ramzan.(AFP file photo)
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu | ByAnil Giri

The Nepal government on Wednesday deferred the second phase of polls to local government bodies for the second time in less than a week to address the concerns of the Muslim minority, officials said.

A Cabinet meeting decided to change the date for the second phase of polls from June 23 to June 28. The election was originally scheduled to be held on June 14 but the government on Monday deferred the polling by nine days to ensure the participation of Madhes-based parties.

The Cabinet decided to reschedule the date for the election in view of the holy month of Ramzan. The move was also aimed at bringing the agitating Madhesi parties on board for the election process, officials said.

A Muslim delegation had called on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” on Tuesday to draw his attention to the inconvenience the community could face if elections were held during Ramzan. Prachanda then held a meeting with Election Commission officials to reschedule the polls.

In a step aimed at addressing the demands of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, the government also decided to amend the Local Level Election Act to give the RJPN enough time to provide names and signatures of party officials who can submit official letters nominating candidates to the Elections Commission.

After holding the first phase of polls to local government bodies in 283 units in three provinces on May 14, the  Election Commission was making preparations for the second phase in 461 units in four provinces.  

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