Govt not to announce poll date in haste: Regmi

KATHMANDU, APR 09 -

Amid much political wrangling over the date for the upcoming polls, Interim Election Government Chairman Khil Raj Regmi hinted on Monday that the government is preparing for an election by November-December (Mangsir, 2070).

Addressing a programme organised by the Madan Bhandari Foundation, Regmi said that it would be prudent to announce the poll date once the Election Commission completes updating the voter roll and the government completes the distribution of citizenship certificates to all eligible Nepali nationals.

Citing the agreement reached among the political parties on March 14 and the subsequent amendment to the Interim Constitution, Regmi said that constitutional provisions have mandated his government to hold elections by November-December. “We still need to distribute citizenship [cards], update the voter list and amend electoral laws. Elections cannot take place without sorting out the electoral procedure, rules and technical issues,” he said. “I am from a legal background. I know that justice delayed is justice denied. But the government will not announce the Constituent Assembly election in an immature manner.”

It should be a common concern to ensure that elections be held on time in a free and fair manner, said Regmi. The rationale behind an election is the exercise of democracy with maximum public participation, he said, adding that preparations were under way to announce the date at the earliest.

Regmi advised the political parties to continue dialogue with the dissenting parties on election as the government’s will alone would not suffice. “To create an environment conducive to an election, political actors should engage in dialogue towards that end. Elections cannot take place without preparations,” he said.

Jica gives computers, solar back-up system

KATHMANDU: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) on Monday handed over 50 computer servers and 10 solar back-up systems worth Rs 14.615 million to the Election Commission. With this, all 75 districts will have computer servers to manage voter database.

Last year, Jica had chipped in 25 servers to 25 election offices. Jica-aided solar back-up systems have been installed in Achham, Darchula, Bajhang, Bajura, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Taple-jung, Sankhuwasabha, Jajarkot and Kalikot districts where power supply is irregular, the Jica stated.

The servers will help the EC expedite its IT services in all 75 districts for smooth functioning of voters’ registration and voter ID card preparation processes, the statement said. “Since election is the fundamental principle of democracy, Jica reiterates its commitment to support the EC in future.”

Posted on: 2013-04-09 06:00