Nepal Today

Friday, May 31, 2013

FIVE PASSENGERS, CREW SURVIVE SITA AIR CRASH IN HUMLA Kathmandu, 1 June: Five passengers and crew survived when a Sita Air flight landed in rough weather Saturday morning at Simikot Airport in Humla District . The left wing of the aircraft was damaged while landing from Nepalgunj. Captain Kiran Bhattarai and Co-pilot Deepak Shah-- were in command. A Pilatus Porter of Goma Air crashed while landing at the same airpoft a few days ago on a flight from Beplgunj. nnnn TASK FORCE MEET TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCE ON ELECTION LAWS INCONCLUSIVE Kathmandu, 1 June; A Friday meeting of the eight-member task force of the Big Three and Madesh Morcha of the high-level political committee (HLPC) meets again Sunday to resolve differences between major political parties on an electoral laws needed to hold constituent polls. The first meeting held Friday one day after it was launched by HLPC was inconclusive, members said. The task force of two members each from the UCPN Maoist, NC, UML and Morcha will attempt to resolve differences on a one percent threshold to limit number of parties , size of a proposed constituent assembly [491 or 601], whether persons with criminal reords should be allowed to contest election and other issues. Disagreement on contents of an electoral ordinance proposed by the election commission has delayed announcement of formal election date by government. The task force meeting Sunday will attempt to reach understanding before a meeting of the HLPC. Nnnn AFTER MAOIST CHIEF, DEUBA GETS NEW DELHI IVITE BEFORE ASSEMBLY POLLS Kathmandu, 1 June: In what is being seen as India’s efforts to engage with major political players of Nepal while clouds of uncertainty hang over the CA polls, the southern neighbour has invited another senior Nepali political leader in a period of just over a month, Mahesh Acharya, Devenhra Bhattarai write in The Kathmandu Post from New Delhi.. The invitation comes at a time when the northern neighbour, China, has also been extending invitations to senior leaders across the Nepali political spectrum. Senior Nepali Congress leader and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is all set to visit India through June 9-13. He is scheduled to hold a spate of high-level political meetings here, official sources confirmed. Last month, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal visited India in a much-hyped sojourn through May 27-30 and met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khursid, among others. Deuba is scheduled to hold talks with Singh on June 11 at the latter’s residence at 7 Race Course Road. The sources confirmed that he will also meet Khursid, leader of the opposition in India’s lower house, Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. Deuba is scheduled to address a crucial gathering organised by the Indian think tank, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), on the day he meets Singh. On June 12, Deuba is scheduled to go to Uttarakhand, where he is scheduled to meet Governor Aziz Qureshi and Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna. During his two-day stay in the state, he is likely to visit some hydel projects or dam sites, before he returns to Nepal via New Delhi. More invitations to follow New Delhi is planning to invite more senior leaders from other major political parties in Nepal in the next few months, the official sources confirmed. It is ‘almost sure’ that the next invitee will be former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. The senior leader of the CPN-UML led the non-Maoist government after the Rookmangud Katawal saga in 2009, which resulted in a deep schism in Nepali polity. New Delhi is also mulling over the idea to invite some leaders from the Madhesi Morcha. “India wants to keep all the channels open. The efforts of engagement with Nepali leaders before the polls (in Nepal) is also in that direction and India is of the view that the election is the only way out,” one of the sources said. nnnn EC MINUTELY PROBING APPLICATIONS OF POLITICAL PARTIES Kathmandu, 1 June: The Election Commission (EC) has set tough criteria for verifying the applications submitted to it by the political parties, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The criteria include verifying signatures given by supporters, their voter IDs and finger prints and a study of party manifestos, by-laws to confirm whether the appliations are in line with constitutional provisions. "The verification process has started. We will chek the applications to see whether the parties meet our criteria and have adopted constitutional provisions," said Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety. The EC has started entering party-wise information in its software while the finger prints and signatures submitted will be checked electronically. The move, EC officials say, is to avoid the mistakes seen during the previous Constituent Assembly election s while registering parties. In 2008, some smaller parties registered with signatures of 10,000 voters were proved failure to secure similar votes in the election s. Uprety said both the signatures and finger prints of the party supporting voters will be checked electronically. EC has developed software for their verifications. "After going through the document, we will check whether the applications are 'generally acceptable' or not. Then, benefit of doubts will be given to the parties themselves," said Uprety. The EC has planned to complete the verifications process within a month. The criteria will be only applied for the newer parties applied for the party registration as Interim Constitution has allowed parties represented in disbanded Constituent Assembly on the basis of recommendations of CA secretariat and application letter. Of late, 139 parties have applied at the EC for the party registration . The number of parties applied for the party registration is three times more as compared to the parties contested in 2008's CA election s. Only 54 parties had contested in the previous CA election s. nnnn