Government declares local level elections for 13 May

The government has announced local level elections for May 13, 2022, in one phase as per the recommendation of the Election Commission. The decision was taken by a regular Cabinet meeting held on Monday.

According to Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, minister for communication and government spokesperson, the Cabinet meeting decided to hold the local level polls in one phase throughout the country.

Including some ministers, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had held a discussion with Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Thapaliya before the Cabinet meeting. PM asked Election Commission can hold the elections on May 13 or not. Then the Election Commission informed the PM that they are ready to hold the election’s proposed date.

The Election Commission had suggested dates of April 27 and May 5 for the polls. As the government delayed the announcement, the Election Commission authorities had recommended to the government to hold the local polls on May 18, 2022. The government had agreed to hold the local polls on the commission-proposed date.

Earlier, the ruling alliance had made efforts to delay the elections by amending the election laws. However, the government had given in to protests from the press, opposition parties, and civil societies.

As per Article 215 (6) of the Constitution of Nepal, the terms of office of the chairperson, vice-chairperson, ward chairperson, and members shall be of five years after the date of being elected.

Article 225 states that the term of the village and municipal assemblies is five years from the date of elections. It further stated that “Another Village Assembly and Municipal Assembly shall be elected no later than six months of the expiration of such a term.”

But Section 3 of the Local Level Elections Act-2017 states that elections at the local federal units shall be conducted two months prior to the completion of their terms. This means local body representatives must be elected by March 19, 2022.

But some legal experts including the Election Commission said that no amendment was necessary in the existing laws if the local polls were held before May 19 while some experts have been saying that the legal complications won’t end even if the local polls were held before May 19, 2022.

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