District Election Offices are not dissolved, but being managed in new way- PM assures EC
Kathmandu. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said that the District Election Office is not to be dissolved, but to be managed in a new way.
PM Dahal said during a meeting with the Election Commission (EC) office-bearers today that the government is conscious not to allow a restriction or an adverse impact on the EC’s jurisdiction, according to EC spokesman Shaligram Sharma Poudel.
“The government is alert not to allow any limitation or adverse effect on the Commission’s independence, autonomy and jurisdiction,” spokesman Poudel quoted the PM as saying in the meeting.
As Poudel shared, the Prime Minister in the meeting stated that the government would extend its full cooperation to the Election Commission in the works it has been trying to initiate in connection to the Election Management Act, collection of voters list and the international conference.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister, Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat on the occasion said the District Election Office would be managed in accordance with the EC’s concept.
The Election Commission had discussed with the Prime Minister the provision regarding the District Election Office made through the budget statement for the fiscal year 2023/24, the tabling in parliament through the government the bill on election management, the collection of voter name list through the local level and collection of the voter list of Nepali citizens in foreign countries.
Similarly, the sixth conference of Asian Electoral Stakeholders Forum and the 12th Meeting of the Forum for Election Management of South Asia to be held on September 20 and 21, 2023 in Nepal were also discussed in the meeting with the Prime Minister.
On the occasion, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya clarified about the necessity of the District Election Office, stating about the constitutional obligation of the federal, provincial and local governments to provide the employees, means and resources and the physical infrastructures the Election Commission required for carrying out its works and responsibilities as stipulated by Articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution of Nepal and as per the existing election laws.
He appraised of the provision in the Election Commission Act stipulating that the government approved the organizational structure and the employees’ quota on the recommendation of the Commission as well as provided the employees required by the EC for its work operation and management. He suggested on rendering the Commission’s all structures based in the district further stronger, efficient, effective and technology-friendly in order to conduct the periodic election and by-election in all the three levels and to always keep the voters name list updated.
According to the Chief Election Commissioner, the provision of setting up an election unit at the District Administration Office as per the new provision would be considered as the government’s direct involvement in the election and the Commission would not be accountable in the situation when a question mark is raised on the authenticity of the election. He mentioned that the provision as proposed by the government would be in contravention of the principle of power balance, control and separation of powers as well as against the Constitution and the prevailing laws.
Also present during the meeting were Minister for Communication and Information Technology and government spokesperson Rekha Sharma, the Election Commissioners, the Chief Secretary of the government and the EC secretary.
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