Students begin signature campaign for republic

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, April 26:

The All Nepal National Free Student Union, PN Campus unit, today started a signature collection campaign in support of a republican system in the country. The student leaders said that they expect to collect over 100,000 signatures by April 29 adding the collection would be sent to the royal palace through local administration. Tul Bahadur Gurung,the alternative central committee member of UML, Sri Nath Baral, the joint-secretary of Kaski UML and Rabindra Adhikari, district committee member were among the 7,000 signatories signing for a republican set-up on Monday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the campaign, Rajiv Pahari of ANNFSU central educational department said that the campaign would be organised at the national level as well. Though security forces had issued threats during the campaign, the students participated boldly in the campaign. Likewise, a model referendum on republican set-up was held in Janapriya Campus, the first private campus to hold such poll. Students were given three options; democratic republican set-up, constitutional monarchy and absolute monarchy; to choose.

According to Jeevan Baral, the voting began at 7 am. Among 2,317 students, 1,820 cast their votes. Among the 1,820 votes, 1,638 favoured republican system, 143 supported active monarchy and only 24 stood for active monarchy.

At a programme to announce the results, campus chief Ganesh Man Palikhe said the results were a clear message to the King to understand the public sentiment and remain within constitutional boundary. Punya Poudel, chairman of Kaski FNJ and Jaya Narayan Poudel, president of Nepal Bar Association, Pokhara Appellate Court unit, said the youths were in favour of republican democracy.