Poll observers in Nepal told to go to rural areas

April 7th, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, Apr 7 (ANI): In Nepal, nine civil society leaders have urged the Election Commission (EC) and election observers to go to rural and remote areas, saying that people might not be able to exercise their franchise in a fearless environment in these areas.

The civil society leaders who issued the statement included Padma Ratna Tuladhar, Daman Nath Dhungana, Nilambar Acharya, Birendra Prasad Mishra, Shyam Shrestha, Dr Mahesh Maskey, Sushil Pyakurel, Kanak Mani Dixit and Charan Prasain.

The leaders said that though the incidents of attack and counter-attacks, accusations and counter-accusations have decreased after the April 1 agreement among the top leaders of the three major parties, the situation has not improved as expected.

The administrative and security mechanism have not been able to take action against those violating the code and law, which has made it difficult the job of ensuring impartiality and absence of fear in the election, the leaders added.

They further said: The act of Maoist combatants coming out of cantonments has instilled fear in voters. So it is urgent for United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) to control the combatants. Similarly, the army is also expected to abide by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

According to Kantipur, they have appealed to the three leaders of the major parties to convince the people to participate in the election while assuring them of security.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry said aerial police patrols in different rural districts had boosted security confidence among people in those areas.

Local administrations in the Valley too, have beefed security in the wake of minor bomb explosions in various parts of Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts in the last two days.

Nepals Home Secretary Umesh Prasad Mainali said the incidents were aimed at creating terror among people rather than inflicting a big casualty.

He said Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) personnel have been mobilized on a round-the-clock basis in all parts of the valley to prevent such acts ahead of Constituent Assembly (CA) polls.

Ministry of General Administration of Nepal also has asked civil servants not to take part in publicity campaigns of any political party or candidate during the CA polls. (ANI)

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