CPN-Maoist to stick to poll boycott
KATHMANDU: Dubbing the November 19 election as a drama, the CPN-Maoist politburo has concluded that the party has no option but to boycott it. The party, which leads the 33-party alliance, said that it will continue the protest programmes, including the 10-day general shutdown to affect the CA poll, announced earlier. Unveiling the decision of party’s politburo meeting, which started on Monday and concluded today, Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa said in a statement that the Constituent Assembly election cannot be held at the existing state of affairs.
They charged that top leaders of four parties and their puppet government intentionally botched up the chances of dialogue with their party and the 33-party alliance in order to keep them out of the election process. According to the statement, the meeting of the party also concluded that the government’s decision to mobilise army in the election was the violation of Comprehensive Peace Accord. The party stressed on the need for unification of all ‘democratic and patriotic forces’ at present, and announced to promulgate the new constitution through struggle.
Support crackdown on anti-poll activities: Carter Center
KATHMANDU: The Carter Center headed by former President of United States Jimmy Carter today released its observation report of Nepal’s voters’ registration process urging the government of Nepal to lend full support to the police to crack down on anti-poll activities. In its 24 page report, the Center said the government needed to lend full support to police to act against illegal efforts to block the electoral process and uphold the State’s obligation to support every Nepali’s right to security.
The Center said while political parties and individual citizens were free not to participate in elections, all parties and their supporters should respect the right of other citizens to freely choose their representatives and not disrupt elections. It has also urged political parties to respect the electoral code of conduct. Carter center’s recommendations come amid threats from the CPN-Maoist allied parties to obstruct the November 19 Constituent Assembly polls.
The Center has also urged the Election Commission to ensure maximum transparency in voter lists including provision of the voter roll, and to widely publicise distribution of voter cards. The Center said voter cards should be informational, but not mandatory for voting purposes and they should be distributed, to the extent possible, directly to voters without the involvement of political parties and voter education materials should be distributed simultaneously. “On election day, display voter lists prominently at polling centres with election commission’s staff there to assist voters to find correct polling stations and avoid congestion or disruption.
On the question of obstruction of voters’ registration process seen during the first phase of voters registration process, the Center said as per Article 9 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights everyone has the right to liberty and security and as such any attack on election commission officials, any part of the electoral process or persons participating in it are to be condemned and violators subject to punishment under the law. The Center noted that the several incidents of intimidation, theft and destruction of ECN materials during voter registration were notable violations of these rights. Home Minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire is learnt to have told Inspector General of Police Kuber Singh Rana today that CA polls will be held on November 19 and police should be on high alert 24×7 to foil anti-poll activities. “Don’t listen to anti-poll rumours. Be ready for any anti-poll threat,” a source quoted Ghimire as telling the police chief.
CPN-M condemns arrest of anti-election campaigners
KATHMANDU: The CPN-Maoist condemned the arrest of cadres of agitating parties during an anti-election publicity campaign in Sankhuwasabha headquarters Khandbari on Wednesday. Issuing a press statement, CPN-Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said police arrested 26 cadres of the agitating parties including CPN-Maoist district in-charge Rajendra Karki and secretary Dewan Yakkha, and district chairman of the Federal Democratic National Party Kumar Tamang. The party has demanded that the cadres be immediately released. The CPN-Maoist-led 33 party alliance has been conducting anti-election publicity campaign throughout the nation.
CPN-M stance intact
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE KATHMANDU: Leaders presenting their views at the CPN-Maoist politburo meeting in Lalitpur on Tuesday urged the party to stick to its four-point stance on joining the election. The meeting will conclude tomorrow. According to Secretary Dev Gurung, the party will stick to its stance and strengthen the 33-party alliance’s boycott of election.The party has demanded round-table conference to discuss the government and contents of the new constitution, resignation of Khil Raj Regmi as Chief Justice and postponement of the November 19 election by four months.
“We are discussing ways to foil the election as the major parties unilaterally broke the talks with the 33-party alliance led by CPN-M,” said Pampha Bhusal, the party’s politburo member and spokesperson. She said the meeting discussed maintaining the party’s stance and utilising the situation for gaining the party’s goal.However, the statement issued by Secretary Dev Gurung on behalf of the 33-party alliance urging the four major parties to hold talks once again and their lobbying with diplomats suggests that the party has become more flexible about joining the election and wanting to prove that they were not against election.