THT 10 YEARS AGO: UML, NWPP reject PR poll system idea

Kathmandu, October 29, 2007

The debate on the two proposals tabled by the Maoists began in parliament today.

Three parties — CPN-UML, Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (NWPP) and the Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal — rejected the Maoist proposal for an all-out proportional representation election system during today’s discussion in the parliament. They, however, did not rule out the proposal for going for a republic.

UML lawmaker Raghiji Pant asked the Maoists to withdraw both their proposals of all-out proportional representation and republic from the parliament. “Since the proposals do not comply with the intrim constitution, they are irrelevant,” Pant, who took part in today’s discussion said, adding that the proposals lacked constitutional basis. He charged the Maoists with trying to defer the constituent assembly elections in the pretext of the king’s activities.

Lawmaker Dilaram Acharya of the Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal warned that it would be suicidal if the parties decided in favour of an all-out PR system of election. Acharya accused the Maoists of thwarting the CA polls. He, however, supported the Maoist proposal of republic from the parliament.

On the issue of a fully proportional electoral system, Acharya said this would not only be suicidal for the parties, but would also have an adverse effect on the country’s integrity. Sunil Prajapati of the NWPP said his party would not support the Maoist motion of fully PR election system “since we have decided to go for a mixed electoral system”.

When the earth shook below central Nepal,Valley

Kathmandu, October 29, 2007

An earthquake of magnitude five on the Richter scale rocked central Nepal and Kathmandu Valley at around 3:35 this afternoon. The earthquake had its epicentre at Shramthali in Nuwakot district, about 25 km north-east of Kathmandu.

The tremor could be felt in Kathmandu for three to four seconds. Although no damage of life and property has been reported, many people in the Valley rushed to safety after they felt the tremors, fearing occurrence of aftershocks.

Soma Nath Sapkota, chief of National Seismological Centre (NSC), said an earthquake of magnitude five on the Richter scale is not devastating, but the destruction of life and property depends on the nature of surroundings of the epicentre.

Presence of bed rocks in the surroundings of the epicentre helps prevent amplification of the tremor, but the energy released by the earthquake will cause more devastation if the surrounding have softer rocks.

An earthquake of six on the Richter scale can make signficant impact in the Valley, he said. Quakes may rock Nepal any time due to the motion of the Indian and the Tibetan tectonic plates, on the borderline of which Nepal is situated, he said.