Govt engaged in homework to hold local elections

Kathmandu, Jan 28: The government has begun homework for holding election to the local bodies.

In this connection, the government has prepared the amendment proposal to the Local Self-Governance Act, 2055 BS and the Local Body Election Procedures. The proposal and the procedures are under consideration at the Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament.

The government has also urged the Parliament to pass these legal frameworks at the earliest.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Development Kamal Thapa, speaking in the meeting of the Development Committee today, placed this request to the Parliament. He said an agreement has been reached among the parties in the ruling coalition for holding the local body election.

Stating that the government has held a few rounds of discussions with the main opposition and the Tarai-Madhes-centric parties also regarding fixing the date for the election, Minister Thapa said there was no alternative to holding the local elections without any delay.

On restructuring of the local bodies in line with the provisions made in the new constitution, The Minister for Local Development said that a commission would be set up for this purpose by the middle of February and the local bodies would be reconstituted as per the recommendation of this commission.

He also stated that the Ministry has prepared a work plan for removing the rope bridges throughout the country within the coming two years. There is a policy of making the newly-declared municipalities financially capable.

Responding to queries raised by the lawmakers in the committee meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Thapa said the talks being held with the agitating Madhes-centric parties were going ahead on a positive direction and an outlet to the current political impasse would be found out within a couple of days.

In the meeting, the lawmakers had urged the government to forge political consensus for holding the local body election and not to delay the implementation of federalism, among others.

Committee president Rabindra Adhikari said the committee would extend all support for removing the legal hurdles in the way of holding the local election. It is more than a decade since the local body elections were last held. There are 217 municipalities and 3,157 VDCs in the country.