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“People want local polls”

Sunday, February 26th, 2017
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RMP

MP Radheshyam Adhikari in an interview with Himal Khabarpatrika, 26 February-4 March. 

HK: Now that local elections look certain, what does it mean?

Radheshyam Adhikari: We are late to hold local elections since  24 January 2018 is the last day of the current parliament, and we must hold all three elections before that. Only then will we begin heading in the right direction to implement the Constitution.

Why are local elections so important?   

We need to know we are now electing new local units, not old local bodies that drew their limited power from a law, and not the Constitution itself. But new local units have been defined in the Constitution itself, and will have much more power. Through these local units, local people can decide what would be best for them in health, education and social sectors. People can pay their land tax, and make passports at these local units. The government units will also function as quasi-judicial bodies, and resolve disputes at the local level.

Will new local units be able to enjoy all their rights enshrined in the Constitution?

They may not be able to enjoy all their rights in their first five-year tenure. But they will be enjoying more rights after every period election.

The Constitution has a provision to dissolve provincial governments, but not local units. Why?

Even provincial governments cannot be dissolved easily. The centre can dissolve only those provincial governments that attempt to secede from the country. But there is no room for secessionist activities in local units. Hence, there is no constitutional provision to dissolve local units.

Do you see threats to local elections?

People are desperate to cast their votes in local elections, so there is no threat.

Some people say this election will not be different than the one held by King Gyanendra.

All major parties with nationwide networks are for local elections. So other parties cannot stay out of this process. They will certainly take part in elections. There is no doubt about it.

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