THT 10 YEARS AGO: EC urges new parties to quickly register for polls

Kathmandu, January 7, 2008

The Election Commission today invited newly created political parties to rush for registration for the Constituent Assembly election due in April this year.

Political parties, formed in the recent weeks and months, will have to register by January 14 to secure the Commission’s recognition as per Article 142 of the interim constitution. Article 142 requires any party intending to contest the CA polls to seek the Commission’s recognition by registering its name with the Election Commission. “This opportunity has been given as a good gesture,” Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel told this daily today.

The government and the EC have, however, not discussed as yet any tentative date for the election. The third amendment in the interim constitution sets mid-April as deadline for the election, which has been cancelled twice so far. Asked whether the election would be held in a single or multiple phases, Pokhrel said it depends upon the government.

“The EC hopes that the environment would be conducive for polls,” he added. EC spokesperson Laxman Prasad Bhattarai said those parties which are already registered for the purposes of Constituent Assembly election need not reapply at the EC.

Mahara terms Katawal’s comment unfortunate

Phulbari (Kavre), January 7, 2008

The CPN-Maoist today described Nepali Army chief General Rookmangud Katawal’s stand against integrating indoctrinated personnel into the army as unfortunate and against the spirit of the peace accord.

Minister and Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara said: “The army chief’s statement is against the spirit of the comprehensive peace treaty between the government and the CPNMaoist.” He added that the army chief’s stand would affect the peace process adversely.

“The statement, coming at a time when the Home Ministry is doing the legwork for integrating the verified Maoist PLA fighters into the state army, is illtimed and unfortunate,” he said. Meanwhile, the party’s central committee meet has been postponed for two days. Mahara said it was postponed as some homework remained to be done. He said the Prachanda’s proposal was passed unanimously and his party would participate in the polls at any cost.

However, Mohan Baidya said differences had cropped up since the party central panel’s previous meet at Balaju. “Today’s session was deferred as some members did not see eye to eye. Matrika Yadav, Devendra Poudel left the venue before the meet was deferred. The chairman’s proposal was passed,” he said.