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EC cautions parties not to change poll date to ensure November poll

KATHMANDU: As the political parties are mulling over deferring the election of the Constituent Assembly (CA) by two weeks to bring the dissenting 33-party alliance on board, the Election Commission has ruled out the possibility of holding the election on November if the High-level Political Committee (HLPC) changes the date by even a week.

EC officials said the mountain region usually witnesses rainfall and snowfall after the third week of November. They added that they will not be in a position to hold the election after November 19 in 16 districts in the region.

The polls, according to the EC officials, should be conducted in two phases even if minor changes are made to the earlier plan to hold the election on November 19.

CEC Uprety said the November poll plan will not be possible if the government decides to change the stipulated poll date and continues to delay in clearing the constitutional and legal hurdles. The EC is yet to print voter education, booklets and pamphlets to aware people about the election. Additionally, the EC is yet to design the ballot paper as the commission is yet to get clear cut idea on the number of CA members and method to elect them.

However, the political parties are yet to agree on whether to change the election date or not. They are likely to finalize the deal soon. However the political parties have not consulted the Commission before having discussion about poll deferral. EC will face problem to adjust the election schedule even if the dissenting parties join the electoral process for November 19 election as most of the parties of the poll opposing alliance are yet to register at the EC.

EC commissioners believe the proposal to change the poll date will further complicate the election. They say the delay in clearing the constitutional and legal hurdles has already put the election body in a fix and proposal to defer the election will cause further uncertainty to the election.

Concerned by the weather factor, the EC had earlier proposed the government to hold the election on November 14. But the Regmi-led government announced November 19 as the date for the CA election.

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For Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-ve) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point

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