‘Failed’ polls have raised front’s morale: Leaders

Kathmandu, February 9:

Leaders of the opposition parties today said the municipal elections were “sham” and the parties would not recognise the results of the elections that ended amidst “terror and bloodshed”, adding that the morale of the seven-party alliance has been reinforced with the low voters’ turn-out in the elections.

“The government has concluded unsuccessful drama of elections amidst terror and bloodshed,” said CPN-UML standing committee member K P Sharma Oli at the Reporters’ Club. He said the elections further “denied and derailed the democratic process”.

Oli said the so-called elections concluded amidst terror with the killing of an UML cadre in Dang, Umesh Thapa (42) of Pyuthan, where armymen opened fire even though the police had already dispersed the agitators. He also rapped the government for not handing Thapa’s body over to his family members for the last rites.

He expressed his doubt over the government’s claim of 70 per cent voters’ turn-out in some municipalities. “How can the EC say that 71 per cent polling was recorded in Gaur in such a situation where major political parties have boycotted the election?”

NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said the elections, which were staged just to hoodwink the international community, would further complicate the conflict. He claimed that a select group was found to have cast votes repeatedly in several polling stations even though their names were not on the voter’s list.

“The elections have reinforced the morale of the seven-party alliance,” said KC. He also said the agitating parties would make public their stance clear about Maoist leader Prachanda’s call for an unconditional talks to end violence.

Dr Narayan Khadka of Nepali Congress (Democratic) said more than 80 percent of the people that comprise 1.2 million of urban population have expressed their opinion against the autocratic monarchy by not casting votes. “Low voter’s turn-out is also a referendum against the autocratic monarchy,” said Khadka.

Security expert Dr Karna Thapa expressed warned that killings would turn from “horizontal” to “vertical” in the days to come and the country would plunge into a civil war if the political actors did not grasp the importance of national security. He suggested that the issues of national security, which are state-centred, and democracy, which is people-centred, must be given equal importance if Nepal were to exist in the world’s political map.

Govinda Khaniya, central committee member of Kamal Thapa-led RPP, said the people have given their verdict in favour of “peace and democracy”. “This is the only election that has been held in the freest and fairest manner,” he said.

Former election commissioner Bishwoman Shrestha said the elections did not have “true representation of the people”, as the voters did not even know who were their candidates and the election process was not in consistent with the election law.