Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday said that the State Election Commission has kept hold on the election process for the forthcoming Panchayat and Municipal elections, scheduled to be conducted in the months of April-May, in view of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the country.
He said, considering the seriousness of prevailing situation, State Election Commissioner Hage Kojeen has convened an all-party meeting on March 18 and after taking views of all parties, today he has announced that the process of elections to Panchayats and Municipalities has been put on hold temporarily till normalcy restores.
The State’s Health Department on Wednesday recommended the State Election Commission to postpone the local body elections in view of the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease in many parts of the country till the situation improves.
Earlier, the State poll panel had in consultation with the State Govt finalized the schedule for holding elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions of the State and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Itanagar and Pasighat during April-May.
The State Election Commission is of the firm view that continuing with the scheduled election process would be detrimental and harmful for the public health at large due to the possible spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, the State Election Commissioner has decided to put on hold the process of elections temporarily till normalcy is restored in respect of the Coronavirus pandemic facilitating public gatherings for conduct of elections.
The Commission will make a further assessment in consultation with stakeholders specially the Health department for taking a considered decision on resumption of the election process, read the ‘order’ issued by Kojeen.