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Nepal - Parlamentsvalg i 2007 ... Nyt demokrati på vej?
NEPAL: Parliamentary elections to be held by April 2007
IRINnews.org, 11. oktober 2005
Mens nepaleserne fejrede deres to-uger lange Dasain-festival, holdt Kong Gyanendra en tale til nationen, hvorunder han lovede parlamentsvalg i april 2007. Han opfordrede samtidig maoisterne til at afslutte deres væbnede opstand. De politiske partier ønsker parlamentet indkaldt og har tilkendegivet at de boykotter byråds-valget i februar 2006, som Kong Gyanendra har udskrevet tidligere.
KATHMANDU, 11 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Nepal's King Gyanendra said on Wednesday he would hold parliamentary elections by April, 2007. In a message to the Himalayan kingdom to mark the Hindu festival of Dasain, the king urged the international community to help conduct dignified, free and fair polls.
"We have commanded the Election Commission to conduct elections to the House of Representatives within the [Nepali] year 2063 B.S.[by mid-April 2007]," he said.
King Gyanendra also urged Maoist rebels to end their nine-year insurgency to topple the monarchy and to join the political process. "We would like to make it clear that the door to joining the political mainstream is open to all," King Gyanendra said.
When King Gyanendra sacked the government on 1 February, he pledged to hold elections within three years.
Polls have been delayed since 2002, when King Gyanendra sacked the prime minister and postponed elections set for November that year because of the revolt.
When King Gyanendra took power, backed by the army, he said he had to act to tackle the revolt, which has killed more than 12,500 people since 1996.
The royalist government has already announced municipal elections for 8 February, 2006. The date set for these municipal polls is in line with a statement made by King Gyanendra in April, two months after he dissolved the government and assumed direct rule of the Himalayan kingdom.
However, the seven main political parties have decided to boycott the municipal elections, saying that fair and free elections were not possible without reinstating the dissolved parliament. Despite this, Kathmandu has stated that the elections would proceed with or without the participation of the parties.
Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi said that necessary security arrangements would be made in case there was any obstacle to the polls. Maoist rebels have been waging a nine-year old armed insurgency in Nepal.
Regarding the conduct of the poll, there are concerns among activists that the government would not allow international observers to monitor the polls.
Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Tulsi Giri, said in a recent senior cabinet meeting that the election was a local issue and that there was no need for international observers.
Assuming the election goes ahead as planned, voting will take place in 58 municipalities across the country.
Nearly 13 percent of the country’s total population resides in municipalities. According to the most recent census by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Kathmandu has the largest number of voters, at least 300,000.
In July 2002, former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s government dissolved all elected local bodies, including municipalities, District Development Committees (DDCs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs), replacing them with government employees. The move was condemned as undemocratic and heavily criticised by Nepali political parties and donor governments.
According to local and international NGOs, the municipalities have played a significant role in promoting urban development. Many were also actively involved in cultural preservation, sanitation, water supply and road development projects.
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