HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal today ruled out holding fresh Constituent Assembly election on November 22, the date announced by the Baburam Bhattarai-led coalition government.
The government announced the date for fresh Constituent Assembly election on May 27 when CA’s four-year term expired without promulgating the new constitution.
Launching a compilation of book titled, Jeevaraj Ashrit Smriti Grantha, Khanal said 120 days of time sought by the Election Commission for election preparations had also expired, leaving
the possibility of conducting the fresh CA election on the date.
The Election Commission had maintained that it required at least 120 days before the election date to make preparations for the same if all election-related laws were in place.
“The election date was announced just to hoodwink the general people,” Khanal said, adding that, the announcement was made not to hold the Constituent Assembly election, but to cling on to the power.
Khanal said the UCPN-Maoist leadership and Prime Minister Bhattarai himself proposed to defer the Constituent Assembly election during a three-party meeting on Wednesday, saying that it was not possible to conduct the election on the stipulated date.
He said that announcement of the election without preparations had polarized the parties and, the state mechanism was on the verge of collapse in the absence of Parliament.
“The only way out of the current political and constitutional impasse is to replace the caretaker government with a national consensus one, which will help create an environment of mutual trust that was in deficit since the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly,” Khanal said.
He also flayed the government for not being able to appoint Chief Secretary due to partisan interest within the ruling coalition.
Reiterating his party’s recent decision, Khanal stressed the need to go for fresh election by making necessary amendments to the Interim Constitution on consensus basis among the parties concerned.
“But the parties are required to reach an understanding on whether they want to go for the elections of new CA or of the Legislature-Parliament,” he said, adding that, the three major parties had agreed to sit again to find a way out this week.
He, however, stressed that nothing would move ahead unless the UCPN-Maoist leadership agreed to replace the Bhattarai-led government with a unity one.