Civil society leaders have claimed that the polls were possible despite some sporadic cases of violence during the run-up to the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls. Speaking at a face-to-face interaction programme organised by Reporters Club Nepal today, chairperson of the Constitutional Committee of erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA), Nilambar Acharya claimed that the CA polls will be held even the CPN-Maoist do not come on board the election. “Unlike the previous CA election, this is not a part of the peace process. So, there is no reason that this CA election should not be held,” he said adding that the CPN-Maoist has itself decided to boycott the polls to justify its split with the UCPN (Maoist).
Saying that some sporadic incidents of violence are obvious, Acharya claimed that the polls can never be held on completely fearless situation.
The erstwhile CA fails to deliver a constitution as the parties could not hold serious dialogues on the contents of the constitution because of the unresolved issue of army integration, he said. “Now the issue of army integration has already resolved and the political parties have expressed their commitment to go for the alternative course if the consensus could not be forged for the content of the constitution.”
Civil society leader and chairman of General Election Observation Committee Nepal (GEOC), Himalaya Shamsher JB Rana expressed the concern over the rising cases of clashes between the parties contesting the CA polls and the violence and anti-election activities inflicted by the CPN-Maoist. “The rising numbers of violence in the run-up to the polls has increased the security concerns,” he said and advised the government and Election Commission (EC) to curb such activities on time.
Former Chief Election Commissioner Surya Prashad Shrestha opined that the government should ensure security during the polls rather than making public the number of security men mobilised for the polls. He also warned that the capacity of the security force of security organs may come under question if the current security situation is not improved. He also drew that attention of the EC about the problems posed by the failure to distribute the voter ID cards to all voters.
Likewise, former Home Secretary Umesh Mainali pointed out various problems that could pose the challenge on holding the CA polls in free and fearless manner. Negating attitude of the political parties, rampant violations of the election code of conduct, poll disruption attempts of the a force including the CPN-Maoist and government failure to book the perpetrators are the reasons that could make the security situation challenging, he explained. “Instead of arson cases coming under control, they are increasing one by one. This indicates the lack of pre-caution that should be adopted by the security forces,” he said and added, “the number of voters casting vote will dip if the security force fails to ensure security to the candidates and voters.”
Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) vice-chairperson Pradeep Jung Pandey said that the business community was ready to lend its all support to make the election possible. “CA poll is the necessity of the country but it should be held in a peaceful way,” Pandey noted. He further said that they have not received any threats for the donation during this poll unlike previous polls.