By Our Reporter
The government has announced local election date for 14 May, although, it is hard to believe that the election is going to be held on the said date!
Until now, although the political leaders are lauding for timely elections, they are trying to develop new political equation just to enjoy power.
NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba wishes to become the prime minister fast. Deuba has already sent the message to PM Dahal that now time has come to handover power by Dahal to him.
Dahal, who was found reluctant in holding local election, was compelled to announce the election date just to prolong his tenure as the PM.
Until now, the Madheshi Front has not given signal for their participation. It is believed that the Front will follow the line from Delhi. What could be Delhi’s line, some observers assume that Delhi wants election of the parliament by keep on pending local and provincial elections. After his return from Delhi, Upendra Yadav is arguing that before election at the local-level and provincial elections, the election of the parliament has to be held. Then, the parliament will hold the election of the provinces and the provinces will hold the election of local bodies, he has argued.
Baburam Bhattarai and Upendra Yadav, have been demanding the election of parliament before the local body election after Yadav’s return from Delhi. In this way, one can predict that this is Delhi’s line.
Until now, Delhi has not recognized this constitution. Delhi wants amendmentsin the constitution by responding to the demands put forward by the Madheshi Front. As per the present equation, there is no sign of amendment of the constitution by addressing Delhi’s concern. Without amendment of the constitution, Delhi is not going to recognize the present constitution. If so, the 14 May election cannot be held. The Madheshi Front may launch strong agitation and at least in the Tarai districts having strong domination of the Front, there will be no election. Also, in hill districts, there is the possibility of violence from the party headed by Netrabikram Chand who has opposed election.
If the anti-election groups will become strong, the local level election cannot be effective.
Election Commission in mess:
There are only 77 days left for the local level election to be held on 14 May. Until now, the Election Commission has not received the new structure of the local bodies from the government. The Commission for Restructuring Local Units has recommended 719 local units. The government is yet to adopt the report submitted by the Commission. As per the new restructuring, the voters’ list has to be prepared and also election booths have to be managed.
On this restructuring of the local units also, the Madheshi Front has expressed dissatisfaction. The Front is demanding more local units on the basis of population in the Tarai districts. In hill districts also in some districts, local people are not satisfied from the restructuring. It is a challenge for the government to satisfy the dissatisfied people and groups and conduct election.
The UML is against increasing the number of local units from 719.
Technically, logistics such as inks, ballot boxes among others, have to be received either from India or China. Earlier, the Election Commission had received ballot boxes from Japan. This time, considering the time limit for election, Japan has denied to provide the ballot boxes. As per the electoral constituencies, there is the need of additional 25 thousand ballot boxes even if the old ballot boxes that are stored in the Commissionare used. As India has introduced an electrical voting, it may be difficult to get ballot boxes in stock in India. Likewise, whether the EC can manage paper to print ballot-paper, whether the Janak Education Materials Center can print the ballot-papers on the basis of booths and voter lists in given time, it is a big challenge for the EC.