Nepal parties want deadline extended

Kathmandu, Dec 16: Nepal’s major political parties Monday asked the Election Commission (EC) to extend the deadline to submit the list of names of candidates under the proportional representation (PR) system.

The Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) sought extensions of the deadline by a week, Xinhua reported.

The deadline provided by the EC expires Wednesday. The move is likely to delay the processes of government formation and drafting of a constitution in the Himalayan nation.

The High Level Political Committee (HLPC), a body formed to guide the government, made the decision stating that it is making progress with regard to the UCPN-M’s demand that a probe panel be formed to investigate vote-rigging in the Nov 19 elections in the country for the Constituent Assembly.

“We decided to ask the EC to extend the deadline with a view that parties should move ahead as per the political consensus among parties,” NC general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula told media persons after the meeting.

The UCPN-M is refusing to submit the names of its PR candidates to the EC saying that it would not do so if its demands are not met.

The UCPN-M, which emerged as the third largest party in the Nov 19 elections to the Constituent Assembly, blames vote-rigging for its defeat in the elections.

The Maoists’ refusal to submit the names is delaying a first meeting of the CA and formation of the government that will replace the incumbent government.

If the Maoists do not submit the names, the formal announcement of the final results will be delayed.

Out of the 601-member CA, 240 members were elected through direct elections, while 335 will be elected through the PR electoral system.

Parties should send the names of their PR candidates according to the votes they got in the elections.

The remaining 26 members will be appointed by the council of ministers.

IANS