Madheshi Morcha Has Agreed

Nepal is likely to hold local level elections in two phases as the agitating Madheshi Morcha has agreed to take part in the polls, negotiators of various parties informed. As the ruling and agitating parties made an agreement on Friday evening to increase the number of local bodies in districts of the Madhesh, holding polls there on the scheduled date of May 14 will not be logistically possible. Hence, the polls in all the districts of Province 2 and some districts of Province 1 and 5 will be deferred, according to the sources. However, the polls would be held in those places within mid-June, a Morcha leader informed. “We had told them that we would join the elections if the constitution was amended. We reiterated the same today,” Morcha leader Keshav Jha said, “The government has agreed for the amendment, hence we are ready to join the polls.” Amendment bill to be revised Meanwhile, the ruling parties and the Morcha have agreed to revise the constitution amendment bill registered in the Parliament to address concerns of the agitating parties. In an earlier meeting on Friday morning, the Morcha had set three precondiotns to take part in the elections. A four-member task force has been formed to revise the amendment bill. The members of the task force include Krishna Prasad Sitaula of Nepali Congress and Buddhiman Tamang of Rastriya Prajatantra Party on behalf of the ruling coalition and Rajendra Shrestha of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Laxman Lal Karna of Rastriya Janata Party on behalf of the Morcha. The task force would finalise the revision and the leaders would formally sign the agreement on Saturday, the leaders said. It has been learned that a fast-track procedure would be adopted to endorse the amendment from the Parliament before the polls.