Nepali Times Asian Paints
Update
Election date uncertain



The high level taskforce set by the seven parties to suggest a date for elections in April couldn't meet today, and members say it was because the NC had appointed Sushil Koirala as chairman.

The members had wanted the prime minister to chair the committee, while the NC itself had proposed that it have two top leaders from each party. Continued disagreement over the composition and chairmanship has delayed the announcement of a date for elections.

According to UML sources, the parties had informally agreed on creating sub-committees to set the agenda for the main committee, but these also could not be formed due to the deadlock.

On 24 December, the seven parties had agreed to announce the exact date for elections only after the committee approved it. Although the election date is yet to be set, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has said the government will use "all means and resources available" to conduct elections in early April.

At a meeting in Baluwatar Monday, the prime minister asked the Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel to prepare for elections. Koirala assured Pokhrel that the commission would get the necessary budget in time. He added that the government will work to create a suitable political environment for the election.

The commissioners had told Koirala that they would need at least 90 days to prepare for polls. They also underlined the need for security and peace. Peace minister Ramchandra Poudel and the government's Chief Secretary Bhoj Raj Ghimire were also present at the meeting.

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