Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari today presented the government’s policy and programme for the next fiscal year and said it is committed to complete the three-tier election process by January 2018.
“The government had successfully concluded the first phase of local level elections and was committed to conducting the second round of polls on June 14,” Bhandari said as she read out the document handed over by Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’.
She also presented the government’s policy and program for the fiscal year 2017/18 at the Parliament.
“Only after the election in all three levels — local, provincial and federal —- the Constitution would be fully implemented,” she said.
“So the government has expressed commitment to hold the three-tier of elections by January 21, 2018, by providing necessary logistics to the Election Commission,” she added.
The policy document also includes “restructuring of bureaucracy in line with the federal set up in the country.”
“The government aim to give a logical conclusion to the ‘Comprehensive Peace Process’ started in 2006 by carrying out the remaining tasks and for this aim, resources would be allocated to the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ and the ‘Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons’ so as to make them effective,” the President said.
Millions of Nepalese on May 14 voted in the country’s first local-level polls in two decades as the Himalayan nation took a crucial step towards cementing democracy amid political turmoil. Local-level elections could not be held after 1997 largely as a result of the decade-long Maoist insurgency that claimed more than 16,000 lives in Nepal.
Some Madhes-centric parties have opposed the elections until the new Constitution is amended to accommodate their views, more representation in the Parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries. The Nepal government has tabled a new Constitution amendment bill in the Parliament to address the demands of the agitating Madhesis.
Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.