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Maoists unlikely to boycott Nepal`s Constituent Assembly

Last Updated: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 22:08

Kathmandu: Senior UCPN-Maoist leaders today differed with their chief Prachanda on boycotting the assembly that will draft Nepal`s new Constitution following the party`s humiliating defeat in polls.

The party`s two deputies - Baburam Bhattarai and Narayankaji Shrestha - did not buy Prachanda`s idea to boycott the Constituent Assembly during a high-level meeting held to review results of the elections held on Tuesday, party sources said.

The party`s agenda was still relevant, Bhattarai said in a statement as the UPCN-Maoist lagged far behind the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML in the polls to choose a 601-member Constituent Assembly.

"I still believe that the agenda put forth by the UCPN-Maoist regarding the progressive transformation of the state and economic prosperity still holds true," he said.

Bhattarai said his party "would opt for a legal battle in the cases involving poll irregularities in some constituencies" and launch a struggle through the assembly to implement its agenda.

The Nepali Congress won 101 seats while the CPN-UML bagged 89 of the 231 directly elected seats for which results have been declared so far. The Maoists were trailing far behind in third place with 24 seats.

The UPCN-Maoist claimed there were irregularities in the poll process and it was the victim of a "conspiracy".
But Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety rejected the Maoists` allegation and told a news conference here: "The elections were held in a free, fair and transparent manner and there is no room for any kind of irregularities."

He asked the Maoists to "go to the court for legal remedy if the party is dissatisfied with the electoral procedures at any level".

President Ram Baran Yadav asked Prachanda to contribute in completing the ongoing political process, as he is a key actor, irrespective of the number of seats won by his party.

Prachanda discussed the latest political situation with the President during a meeting at the Rastrapati Bhawan yesterday.
The world community, including India, the US and European Union, too urged Prachanda to accept the poll results and join the Constituent Assembly despite his party`s poor performance.
The Carter Centre, EU Election Observation Team and Asian Network for Free Election said in their report that the elections were held in a free, fair and fearless manner.

First Published: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 22:08
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