Nepal`s interim govt chief asks parties not to boycott polls

Head of Nepal`s interim government appealed to country`s warring political parties not to boycott long-pending elections and use historic opportunity to ensure "free and fair" polls on November 19.

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2013, 01:07 AM IST

Kathmandu: Head of Nepal`s interim government on Friday appealed to the country`s warring political parties not to boycott the long-pending elections and use the historic opportunity to ensure "free and fair" polls on November 19.
In his first nationally televised address after assuming the role of executive head in early March, Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi urged all stakeholders for their active participation and cooperation for a free and fair election to new Constituent Assembly.

Regmi, the Chairman of Interim Election Council of Ministers, called for commitment from all quarters to CA elections as the election date is already been announced, electoral laws are in place and voters list update has reached at its final stage.

Regmi`s address to the nation comes a day after his cabinet fixed the November 19 as the date for new 491-member Constituent Assembly.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has already signed the government-forwarded election ordinance into law, clearing legal hurdles for the upcoming elections, The Republica.Com reported.

In his address, Regmi also called on all agitating political parties, including the Mohan-Baidya led CPN-Maoist, to immediately join talks with the government and resolve their differences through dialogue.

"I want to make a special request to the political parties that are opposed to the government formation process and are agitating with various demands related to the election process to immediately participate in talks to create election-friendly environment by resolving the problem," Regmi said in the televised address.

"I want to reiterate that the government is committed to hold the elections in a free, fair and fearless environment," he said.

The dissident parties, which have formed a joint alliance
named Federal Democratic Alliance (FDA), soon after the announcement of the date of new elections had said they would intensify their protest.

Stating that he is fully aware and respectful of the principle of separation of powers, Regmi said he never wished to see the country without legislature and that he is currently only involved in his executive role.

He said that the current interim government under him was formed under exceptional circumstances.

He further said he switched his role as chief justice to executive head not out of any personal ambition but because of being imbued with a sense of national responsibility.

Noting that the previous CA could not deliver a new constitution due to political differences, Regmi said now is time for all stakeholders, including political parties, civil society, the media and legal practitioners, to be committed to ensure the success of new CA election and use this second historic opportunity.

The fringe parties have been demanding replacement of the incumbent election government led by chief justice Khil Raj Regmi with a new government under political leadership.

Nepal had plunged into a political and constitutional crisis after the Constituent Assembly was dissolved without promulgating the Constitution last year and fresh elections to be held in November, 2012, did not take place, pushing the country into a political deadlock.

With the formation of the election government led by Regmi in March, the political parties had earlier tentatively agreed to conduct the elections in June or by December this year.