Thursday, February 01, 2007

Time running out for EC to hold polls

Razen Manandhar
Kathmandu, January 31[2007]:

Only four months are left for holding an election to a constituent assembly but political parties are yet to decide the type of proportional representation system they have talked about.
The Election Commission (EC) has held around a dozen meetings with the parties in a bid to end uncertainties regarding CA polls but they (parties) have not yet decided about the poll process.
The EC had called a meeting today to bring party leaders together and discuss the election process but it was cancelled after none of them turned up.
“It is going to be difficult for the EC to do everything in this short period, as basic issues about election system are yet to be decided,” said EC spokesperson Laxman Bhattarai.
According to him, proportional representation through mixed system means either to choose parallel system (PS) or mixed member participation system (MMPS). “The two systems will produce entirely different results for they are meant for different kinds of representation,” he said.
NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said his party supported PS. “NC will stand for PS for constituent assembly polls. We will present our views to EC soon,” he said.
NC-D leader Dr Narayan Khadka said his party would most likely moot for NC’s choice “though the party is yet to come up with final decision on the issue”.
“Our demand is to adopt total PR. If it is not possible, our party will go for MMPS,” said Shankar Pokharel of the CPN-UML.