Province and Federal elections should be held in two stages: Chakrapani Khanal

CPN (Maoist Center) leader Chakra Pani Khanal

KATHMANDU, Aug 1: CPN (Maoist Center) leader Chakrapani Khanal has argued that the government should conduct the elections of Province and Federal level in two stages.

“Holding both elections on the same day could have constitutional and logistic difficulties,” he said while speaking at an interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Tuesday.

“Therefore, it is better if the polls are held separately,” he added.

Last week, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur had urged the office bearers of the Election Commission (EC) to prepare for holding both elections in a single go. However, the EC, saying that there were constitutional and logistics challenges, had told that it would be difficult to hold two polls together.

The EC had stated that it alone had to print 70 million ballot papers for holding the both polls together which was almost impossible. The EC has also expressed reservation whether the majority of voters could us both ballot papers.

According to the EC, conducting both elections in a single stage could fail to ensure 33 percent women representation and other backward and marginalized communities in the provincial and federal parliament as envisioned by the constitution.

On the occasion, Khanal, also the former Chief political advisor of Prime Minister, also claimed that the upcoming third phase of local level election in Province 2 slated for September 18 and the remaining elections will be held before deadline at any cost.

“All three tiers of election will be conducted and a new government will be formed before January 21, 2018,” he assured.

Khanal further said that the government is making serious efforts to give conclusion to the under discussion constitution amendment proposal.

“The attempts to bring the agitating Rastriya Janata Party Nepal on board the election by addressing their genuine demands have been taken seriously. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is doing homework to gather two-thirds majority in favor of the amendment proposal,” he added.

Responding to a media person’s inquiry about Maoist Center’s preparation, leader Khanal said that the party is preparing to organize a general meeting regarding its preparation about the second phase election.

He also said that the party is open to forge poll alliance in the upcoming polls.