The Nepal government on Monday deferred the second phase of elections to local bodies by nine days to June 23 to ensure the participation of agitating Madhes-based parties. According to a cabinet decision, some electoral provisions will be amended speedily in line with the demands of the Madhesi parties so that they can register and get their election symbols. But the government was silent on two key demands of the Madhesi parties — amendments in the new Constitution to make it more Madhes-friendly and inclusive, and increasing the numbers of local government units in the plains known as Terai.
After repeatedly failing to amend the Constitution, the government decided to add 22 more local units in the Terai region, a move subsequently stayed by the Supreme Court.
As their demands remain unfulfilled, it is still unclear if the Madhes-based parties will join the polls on June 23.