Elections not possible by third week of June: Nilkanth Upreti (Chief Election Commissioner)
It is not the right time for the Election Commission to tell whether elections will take place in June or not. The political parties are of the view that elections should be held at the earliest. The intention of the political parties to go for the election and give continuity to the democratic process is very valid and we are also working to hold the elections at the earliest. Preparation for the election is very complicated issue. We need to spend some days for preparing the Act related with elections as we could not move ahead without it. We prepared the Act and sent it to the cabinet. Once the Act is endorsed by the president then we can say this much time is essential for the election. The time is running out for holding the elections by third week of June as there are many challenges. We will publicize our view in this regard very soon.
Then is the commission preparing for holding the elections on November?
The time is running out for holding the elections on June, so, we will submit the conditional time frame to the government. The time is running out for holding elections on June in a credible manner. We will analyze the environment for holding elections once the Act was enacted and decide the date for elections. If there was favorable environment for updating voter’s list and go to the public within couple of days then we might be able to hold the elections on June. If the situation did not turn favorable within couple of days we will analyze the situation and recommend suitable time to the government.
By when you will submit the time-frame for holding the elections to the government?
It won’t take much time. We have already forwarded the Act to the government. Once the Act was enacted we will forward the time frame to the government within five days and make our stance clear. The media has been making it clear that the political parties are yet to make consensus about the date. We will present reality about the poll date within some days.
What are the reasons for not holding the elections on June?
The government is yet to announce the date for elections. Once the government declares the date it would be difficult for the Commission that election is not possible on that date. The first thing is that there was delay in appointing officials at the Election Commission. In the past we said we need 120 days for holding the elections once all the laws are promulgated. We reduced the duration to 90 days from 120 days. It is not possible to hold the elections within short period of time but we agreed on it to take the country into democratic process. We became ready to work round-the-clock to bring the country into democratic process. However we can’t call people during off hours, this is also the reason. The main issue is time constraint for holding the elections on June. If all eligible citizen did not receive citizenship certificate and if all eligible voters did not get their name enrolled with the Election Commission then holding the election in such circumstance will not ensure people’s right to vote. It seems that it will take time for this process and there has been obstruction while completing the procedure.
Then you are working to fix the election date which does not need amendment.
The election date should not be amended time and again as it might lose people’s confidence. So, the date should be declared in a way that it does not need amendment. We need to conduct upcoming elections systematically. Elections should be held in such a situation that all sides accept the result of the elections. These issues should not be compromised.