Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nepal Maoists win 9 seats, lead in 60

Kathmandu: The Maoists in Nepal are racing ahead in the constituent assembly polls to the decide the future political system for the country, with the former rebels bagging nine of the eighteen seats declared so far and trends indicating the CPN-Maoist leading in 60 of the 240 constituencies

The CPN-Maoist, who ended their decade-long insurgency in 2006 and contested the polls for the first time on April 10, seems to be moving towards a possible majority, with the Nepali Congress bagging three and CPN-UML four seats and both leading in 12 constituencies each.

The election to the 601-seat Constituent Assembly is expected to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy and frame a new constitution for the Himalayan state.
The Terai-based Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF), which had fielded 105 candidates, is leading in 10 seats. The Nepal Workers and Peasant Party, a regional formation, had won two assembly seats in Bhaktapur district.
Interestingly, CPN-UML is facing reversal in Kathmandu valley's three districts, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, considered a traditional communist stronghold.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala-led Nepali Congress, has bagged three seats in the Kathmandu valley so far and ahead in two other constituencies.
Three of the Maoists who won were ministers in the interim government: Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Paspha Bhusal and Dev Gurung.
A complete count of votes in all 240 constituencies is not expected to be over before the next week.
The good showing of Maoists is being seen as the peace bonus given by the people for coming to the mainstream politics by ending decade-long armed conflict that claimed at least 14,000 lives.


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