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Provincial, federal parliament elections challenging

By Our Reporter

It is already July and the vote counting of the second phase polls is still going on, and the government has been unable to make preparations for the elections of the provincial and federal parliaments, which the Election Commission has proposed to hold by the third week of November.

The most important task to ensure the provincial and federal elections in next five months is to delineate the electoral constituencies for both the elections.

As the number of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the bicameral federal parliament, under the first-past-the-post electoral system is fixed at 165, there is an urgent need to make changes in the existing 240 constituencies. Similarly, the constituencies of the provinces need to be fixed at the earliest possible. However, the government has not yet formed the constituency delineation commission to accomplish this task.

Moreover, the capitals of the provinces need to be fixed before holding the elections, likewise there is a need to build infrastructure to house the provincial parliaments, offices of the chief ministers and other ministers. But nothing has been done towards this direction.

Likewise, fixing of the capital cities is likely to divide the people as they dispute to have the capital in their localities.

The EC has already made it clear that it cannot hold the elections in one go. It has proposed to hold the elections in three separate dates—provincial elections in the second week of October, National Assembly election in the last week of October and the Federal elections in the third week of November.

The EC stated that holding elections in December and January will be impossible in the mountainous regions due to adverse weather conditions there in winter.

However, according to constitution, all elections should be organised by January 21, 2018. At the same time, the ruling parties are exercising to amend the constitution to bring the RJP-N on board of the election. This move will also affect the preparations.

Therefore, if the government does not focus on elections instead of wasting time in trivial issues, holding elections within the deadline of January 21, 2018 looks really challenging.

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