EC suspends voter roll update drive in VDCs
KATHMANDU, APR 02 – The Election Commission (EC) has suspended the voter roll update campaign at the local level following disruption of the process by cadres of the CPN-Maoist. The EC said it will resume the drive in VDCs and municipalities after mobile teams that the Home Ministry plans to send for citizenship distribution reach the districts. With Monday’s decision, the digital voters’ registration process will now be limited to the District Election Offices and the Area Administration Offices at the headquarters from Tuesday.
The move is likely to further hit the already troubled plans to hold elections in June. Election Commissioner Dolakh Bahadur Gurung, however, claimed that the suspension of the voter roll process will not affect poll preparations. He said they decided to wait until citizenship distribution as the order to remove constitution hurdles endorsed by the President last month says the voter roll must be updated along with the distribution of new citizenship certificates. On Monday, a delegation of 33 fringe parties led by the CPN-Maoist submitted a memorandum to the EC, demanding preparations to hold elections be halted. According to the parties opposed to the polls, a partisan government is the need of the hour.
Meanwhile, Janajati organisations, including the Nepal Association of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), denounced the proposed threshold in acquiring seats under the proportional representation system. The draft of the Voter Registration Act, Election Commission Act and the Constituent Assembly Act prepared by the Election Commission asks a party to secure at least 1 percent of the total valid votes cast in an election to be eligible for acquiring proportional seats in the CA. This will bar many smaller parties, who secured seats in the 2008 CA through the system, from acquiring seats in the new assembly.
After a protest rally here on Monday, Nefin submitted its written disagreement to UCPN-Maoist, Congress, UML and Sumyukta Loktantrik Madeshi Morcha. NEFIN chairman Raj Kumar Lekhi said the entire Janajati, Dailt, Muslim, underprivileged and under-represented communities will protest against the threshold decision. Vice-chairman of the Socialist Democratic Party-Nepal, Pasang Sherpa, termed the plan as an ‘extension of the political syndicate of the four parties.’ “The major parties are conspiring to strengthen themselves by restricting smaller forces working for regional and ethnic agenda. Our reservation is against the entire election process,” said Sherpa.
CPN-M rally against 4-party syndicate
PARASI: Cadres of CPN-Maoist, a breakaway faction of UCPN-Maoist on Tuesday staged demonstration in front of District Administration Office (DAO), Parasi and Area Administration Office Kawasoti demanding that the four parties syndicate be scrapped and formation of national unity government on Tuesday. The mob had encircled main chowks of the district chanting slogans against the four party syndicate which engineered the Khil Raj Regmi-led interim election government. The demonstration which started from 10 am from the party office converged into a corner assembly at 11 am.
During the assembly, district level party leaders underscored that Khil Raj Regmi-led Interim Election Council which was formed from the efforts of four major political parties, UCPN-M, Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front was unconstitutional and demanded formation of national unity government. On the occasion, CPN-Maoist district in charge Ashok Lamsal said that the four parties are trying to push the country towards the brink of disaster.
Carter urges Nepal’s Maoist faction to end violence
KATHMANDU: Former US president Jimmy Carter on Monday called on a hardline Maoist faction in Nepal to renounce violence in the run-up to general elections expected in coming months. Nepal’s political system has operated in a legislative vacuum since May last year when parliament was dissolved after squabbling lawmakers failed to agree on a new constitution. As part of a cross-party deal, Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi took over last month at the helm of an interim administration to oversee what will be only the second national polls since the end of a civil war in 2006. Carter, 88, met leaders of major parties during a four-day visit and said he was assured by Mohan Baidya, the leader of a splinter Maoist faction, that they would not resort to violence. “He assured me that there would be no harm to other people but I noticed in the news this morning that three election workers were kidnapped for six hours,” the former US president said. The Kathmandu Post, a local daily, reported that members of the radical group abducted government officials in central Nepal on Sunday. “Kidnapping is a serious crime. This violence in order to accomplish a political goal is completely contrary to the commitment that the people of Nepal have made in the last five years since the war has been over,” said Carter. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C04%5C02%5Cstory_2-4-2013_pg14_5
33 disgruntled parties gherao Singha Durbar
KATHMANDU: Valley traffic went haywire after 33 political parties including the CPN-Maoist staged sit-in at places nearby Singha Durbar as a part of a 10-day protest against formation of Khil Raj Regmi-led government and slated Constituent Assembly (CA) polls. Following the sit-in at Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Babarmahal, and Thapathali among others, the valley traffic witnessed major traffic jam this morning.
Security has been beefed up around Singha Durbar to avoid any untoward incidents. Thirty-three political parties, on March 24, had unveiled a 10-day protest programme including protest assemblies and nation-wide shutdown among others.