M A I N   N E W S

After royal drub, royal end?
Bishnu Budhathoki writes from Kathmandu

The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists that is nearing a clear majority in the poll fray under the direct election for 240 seats are also leading the ongoing vote count under the proportional representation (PR) electoral system. According to the Election Commission (EC) of Nepal, the Maoists have secured 37.14 per cent of total counted votes in 62 out of 240 constituencies across the country. Maoist leader Prachanda said the 240-year-old monarchy would be abolished within a month.

“I think within one month all these things (end of monarchy) should be clear and I hope and expect that within one month we will organise the first meeting of the first Assembly and that first meeting should abolish the monarchy,” Prachanda said.

Prachanda’s comments suggested it was only a matter of procedure to scrap monarchy. Ending monarchy has already been incorporated in the interim constitution, he said.

Whereas the largest and established ruling parties -- the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal -- United Marxist and Leninist -- have secured just 26.93 and 28.13 per cent votes, respectively. The EC has counted 23,65,133 votes so far. According to the EC, around 60 per cent of the total 17.6 million votes were cast on April 10 polls.

As per the existing legal provision, the EC divides 335 seats allotted under the PR electoral system on the basis of the weight of the votes the parties receive in the election. Meanwhile, in the ongoing vote count results in 218 seats under the first-past-the-post electoral system 116 Maoists candidates have already got victory in the election from across the country.

Nepali Congress, oldest democratic party in Nepal, has secured just 33 seats of total 240 seats, whereas the CPN-UML has secured just 30 seats so far.

Similarly, Madhes-based newly established parties -- Madhesi People’s Rights Forum, Terai Madhes-Democratic Party and Mahato-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party-- won in 21, 6 and 2 seats, respectively. The EC has yet to count votes in 21 constituencies after conducting re-polls in some of the polling stations citing unfair election that was held on April-10. Besides this the EC has been conducting election in Surkhet-1 on April 17.

Meanwhile, immediately after getting surprising result of the constituent Assembly election, the US and British envoys to Nepal held separate meetings with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and discussed the ongoing political situation.

US Ambassador Nancy J. Powell and British envoy Dr Andrew Hall reached the PM’s official residence on Tuesday and appreciated Koirala for his creative role in helping the ongoing peace process be a success by holding the crucial election in peaceful and successful manner, said Aditya Baral, PM Koirala’s foreign policy advsior.

British ambassador Hall handed over a letter to Koirala the from UK minister for international development Shahid Mallik praising the PM on the CA polls, he added.



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