Former Nepali PM’s party boycotts general elections

February 19th, 2008 - 8:16 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, Feb 19 (Xinhua) Former Nepali prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa Tuesday announced that his Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP) has decided to boycott the constituent assembly elections scheduled for April 10. According to a press release by the RJP, the central executive committee of the party met Tuesday and decided to boycott the election, pointing at the situation in Madhes, the southern region of Nepal known as Terai plains.

RJP chairman Thapa accused the coalition government comprising Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) and CPN-UML, of trying to forcefully conduct the assembly polls.

He said that his party decided not to participate in the polls since the government has remained indifferent to the worsening crisis in southern Terai plains of the country.

The government is using force and mistreating the agitating Madhesi, indigenous and other groups at a time when the government should bring them into confidence and reach an understanding to create election atmosphere, he said.

He also warned that the country will head towards a civil war if the elections are held by sidelining over half of the country’s population residing in Terai and forcing them to revolt.

He also urged all parties and the government to undertake meaningful collaborations with all agitating groups to reach a solid conclusion.

The RJP’s decision to boycott the polls has come just ahead of the Election Commission’s deadline (Wednesday) of filing closed-list of candidates for proportional representation-based election.

Prior to this, Green Nepal Party led by Kuber Sharma, which is also considered to be a party supporting monarchy, too had announced to boycott the elections demanding neutral government to hold the polls.

The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an ethnic party in Nepal, also threatened to boycott the elections if its demands for autonomy were not met.

The front demands a single state for the entire southern Nepalese plains known as Terai, with the right to self-determination. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has rejected the demand, saying it would divide the country into two.

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