Nepal amends Constitution for deployment of Army during polls
Kathmandu: Nepal on Tuesday amended its Constitution to allow mobilisation of the army to ensure free and fair polls in the country during the November 19 elections.
President Ram Baran Yadav amended Article 145(5) of the Constitution, paving way for the mobilisation of army during the Constituent Assembly election, as per the recommendation made by the Council of Ministers.
As per the earlier provision of Article 145(5), army could be mobilised only during natural disasters.
In order to mobilise army for any other reason, the Council of Ministers need to pass a proposal that needs to be endorsed later by the parliament within one month, states the Constitutional provision.
As there is no Parliament at present, it was essential that the President removed constitutional barrier by amending the article by enforcing the President`s prerogatives as per Article 158 of the Constitution.
"As per Article 158, the President has allowed army to be mobilised during election so as to ensure free, fair and fearless election," said a statement issued by the Rastrapati Bhawan.
The Council of Ministers yesterday had recommended the President to clear legal hurdle for allowing the government to mobilise the national army.
Earlier, a meeting of the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) had urged the government to call upon the President to address the constitutional barriers and allow deputing army during the election.
With Nepal Army also contributing to election security, it is anticipated the total number of security forces will exceed 150,000.
The government has announced the integrated security plan for the election, under which 62,000 Nepal Army personnel will be deployed as back up force during the election.
Similarly, 54,000 personnel from Nepal Police, 22,000 from the Armed Police Force and over 44,000 temporary personnel will b e mobilised for election security.
According to chief election commissioner Nil Kantha Upreti, the government has worked out plan to use Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping of all 10,000 plus polling stations across the country for full proof security during the elections.
The security plan comes in the wake of possible disturbances from the CPN-Maoist led alliances, which have announced boycott of the election, asking head of the government Khil Raj Regmi to resign from the post of chief justice and postponement of the election date till April next year.