-  Monday 24 February 2020

UN role sought to end Nepal crisis

Saturday, February 11,2006 
NEW DELHI: United Nations intervention in Nepal is now inevitable and both India and China have to be included to find a lasting solution, Indian analysts said Friday.

The King has to lose his executive power, which can temporarily go to the U.N., ultimately paving the way for the restoration of democracy in the country.

'Unfortunately, under the present situation neither party is willing to give up its control to bargain more out of turmoil, 'said A.B. Mahapatra, a senior international affairs analyst.

Mahapatra says that is making the situation more complicated. 'The U.N. has already suggested to India that in case of its intervention the King would remain the constitutional head without executive powers and the political parties should get ready to fight elections,' he said

The very low turn out in the municipal polls in Nepal is a big blow to the King, who described the elections as a step towards the restoration of democracy.

Mahapatra said the failure of polls has also strengthened the criticism that the King resorted to the elections polls to legitimize his hold on power. He said there could be no justification for holding such controversial elections when the country`s major political parties have refrained from participating.

The municipal elections held Feb. 8 were marred by widespread violence as Maoist rebels killed a number of people and took 10 hostages during the campaign.

Voter turnout was low in Katmandu and other towns, with major political parties boycotting the polls.

People also did not come out to vote fearing violence, as Maoists rebels threatened to disrupt the polls.

'The government had made adequate security arrangements for voters and candidates who participated in the elections,' said a senior Nepalese minister, who said people did not come out to vote because Maoist rebels had threatened to kill all those who voted.

On the eve of the polls the government issued an appeal to the voters to freely cast their votes, saying it would pave the way for the restoration of democracy.

'I request all the voters to exercise their rights by voting without fear,' said interior minister Kamal Thapa.

The government said Maoist rebels killed at least seven security personnel on polling day.

Top Maoist leader Prachanda had issued a threat Feb. 7 advising people to stay away from polling booths.

'Our party would like to make a final and special appeal to the general public to boycott municipal polls,' he said in a statement.

The rebels also called for a general strike on the day of polling, which threw the capital and other towns out of gear. 'The success of our general strike has made it clear that the public opinion is against the municipal polls,' he said.

Prachanda said the armed struggle to topple royal regime would continue.

Maoist insurgents have been fighting to overthrow the royal regime for the past decade. They stepped up violence to derail the municipal polls.

The U.N. has asked the king to hold discussions with the political leadership of the country and pave the way for the restoration of parliament and democracy in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

Western diplomats have also sought U.N. intervention in the matter. There have been numerous recent discussions in Indian diplomatic circles on the possibility of the U.N. stepping in to help find a lasting solution for Nepal.

Maoist rebel leader Prachanda has offered to talk with the King on the condition that he allows parties to form the government and tells the U.N. that it is the legitimate government of the people.

'Maoist rebels can come to the negotiating table and agree to disarm to find a peaceful solution,' said Mahapatra.


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