Nepal's president warns of constitutional crisis

Bidhya Devi Bhandari says lack of date for elections threatens political stability for Himalayan country

Nepal's president warns of constitutional crisis

World Bulletin / News Desk

 President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has warned of a constitutional crisis in Nepal unless elections are held in the next year, a spokesman said Thursday.

The current term of the country's constituent assembly, which promulgated the constitution in September 2015, expired on Jan. 12. Elections for federal and provincial assemblies as well as village-level elected bodies are a must for the implementation of the new charter.

“The president is worried that the delay in announcing dates for elections would lead to a crisis,” presidential spokesman Bhesh Raj Adhikari told Anadolu Agency.

The warning came a day after Bhandari met former Prime Ministers K.P. Sharma Oli and Sher Bahadur Deuba to express her concerns over the delay. She has also consulted lawyers about the potential constitutional crisis if the polls are not held by the due date.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a former Maoist commander who led a 10-year insurgency that ended in 2006, came to power last August pledging to meet the demands of the Madhesi people, who live in the country’s southern plains and have demanded greater representation through a federal system.

Protests by Madhesi in September 2015 led to the deaths of more than 50 people and an unofficial blockade by India that created shortages of basic necessities.

“It will be impossible to hold elections in all three tiers of the federal structure by January 2018,” the English-language Kathmandu Post newspaper said in a recent editorial. “This could lead to a major constitutional crisis of the kind that emerged in 2012.

“That crisis severely disrupted the political process and it took over a year for things to get back on track. Nepal cannot afford a repetition of a similar scenario.”​

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Şubat 2017, 18:47