Prachanda’s proposal for ‘snap elections’ sends ripples through Nepal’s political spectrum

Prachanda’s proposal for ‘snap elections’ sends ripples through Nepal’s political spectrum

Chairman of Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda (File Photo)

KATHMANDU: A proposal for “snap elections” floated by CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, has recently caused a stir across the political spectrum in Nepal.

Prachanda’s proposal not only shocked the ruling coalition but also the main opposition party CPN-UML.

Although Prime Minister Sher Bahadaur Deuba is silent on the proposal, some Nepali Congress leaders oppose it.

Prachanda had protested strongly when then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced midterm elections by dissolving parliament last year.

NC General Secretary Gagan Thapa said the government must ensure that local units will not be left without representatives when deciding on elections.

“The constitution did not provide for local communities without elected representatives. Therefore, the government should ensure that local units will not be left without elected representatives when deciding on elections. It will be unconstitutional,” Thapa tweeted.

There were differences in the ruling coalition following the proposal launched by Prachanda.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said local elections will be held from mid-April to mid-May while Prachanda and Nepal favor federal elections before local elections.

The political coordination committee meeting scheduled for Thursday was postponed after senior leaders failed to reach an agreement on it.

Following the postponement of the meeting, the Deuba, Prachanda and Nepal leaders met on Thursday evening and decided to convene the meeting of the political coordination committee at 4 p.m.

What does the CPN-UML say?

The main opposition party, the CPN-UML, has not made its opinion public on this matter. The general secretary of the UML, Shankar Pokharel, strongly opposed this proposal to organize federal elections before the local elections.

According to Pokharel, local units will remain without elected members if local elections are dithered and held from mid-October to mid-November.

Reacting to Prachanda’s proposal, constitutional experts said it would be unconstitutional to hold federal elections by postponing local elections.

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