Nepal's EC tells PM Oli to conduct November snap polls in single phase

Kathmandu: Nepal's Election Commission has advised the government led by embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to conduct the mid-term elections slated for November 12 and 19 in a single phase to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus infections during electioneering.

After a meeting with Prime Minister K P Oli on Saturday, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said it is Election Commission's constitutional duty to successfully conduct polls once the date has been announced.

"We have abundant time for preparation and have suggested to the government to conduct the election in a single phase, Thapaliya was quoted as saying in a report in My Republica. In the meeting, the representatives of the Election Commission also suggested to the government to create a favorable political environment for elections, maintain peace and security, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections among others, it said.

Oli suggested that the Election Commission officials step up preparations for elections by devising a proper strategy based on its past election-management experience in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.

"On the one hand, COVID pandemic is raging, and on the other, the election should be carried out within six months. There is no situation for deferring the election due to the pandemic. Amid the pandemic too, various countries including India, the US, the UK, and Brazil have successfully completed elections," Oli said.

Nepal on Sunday reported 8,980 new Coronavirus cases, taking the national tally to over 505643 while the death toll stands at 6,153, according to the health ministry.

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