CA elections in Nepal cannot be held on Nov 22: EC

The Constituent Assembly Elections in Nepal cannot be held on November 22, the Election Commission said citing legal ambiguities.

Updated: Jul 30, 2012, 22:27 PM IST

Kathmandu: The Constituent Assembly Elections in Nepal cannot be held on November 22, the Election Commission said on Monday citing legal and constitutional ambiguities as well as lack of political consensus among parties.

Acting chief commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety and spokesperson Sharada Prasad Trital expressed inability to hold the polls on the date announced by the Maoist government.

The existing rules and regulations were not amended to start the process, they told reporters at the Election Commission office.

"In a situation of constitutional and legal ambiguity, it will be difficult for us to proceed," Trital said in a statement.

"Therefore, we have decided to inform the government that it is not possible to hold elections...on November 22," Trital said.

They further pointed out the need for political consensus to hold the fresh elections.

"The basis of democratic system is election," Uprety said.

"It is not a matter of delight that the second historical election has to be deferred," he added.

Uprety said that the timely unavailability of electoral laws had prevented the holding of the election despite the preparedness and capacity on the Election Commission`s part.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had dissolved the
601-member Constituent Assembly and had announced fresh elections to it on November 22.

The term of the Constituent Assembly had expired on May 27 without the promulgation of the new Constitution, after which Bhattarai had made the "unilateral" announcement.

The opposition parties have been protesting the announcement, questioning its constitutionality.

The opposition parties have also declared that they will boycott the Constituent Assembly elections announced unilaterally by the government.

Bhattarai has failed to amend the Interim Constitution, in which there is no provision for holding new elections.

However, the government has forwarded two ordinances to the Office of the President for endorsement, to which the President is yet to respond.

But EC officials had made it clear that amending the Electoral Acts alone will not make the polls possible.