Nepal’s Election Commission said Monday it lacked a legal framework to hold elections promised for November — threatening a long delay that could push the country deeper into political turmoil. “In a situation of constitutional and legal ambiguity, it will be difficult for us to proceed,” commission spokesman Sharada Prasad Trital said in a statement. “Therefore, we have decided to inform the government that it is not possible to hold elections… on November 22,” Trital said.
Nepal’s prime minister has called elections, after years of deadlock in which political parties have failed to agree a new constitution. Parliament has been extended four times since 2008 while a special assembly has struggled to reach consensus. When the latest deadline was missed, Baburam Bhattarai said there was “no alternative” but polls in six months. Political parties disagree on the issue of whether states in a new federal system should be along ethnic lines.