Why Did Prachanda Complain about vote results? - Nepalee.Com

Why Did Prachanda Complain about vote results?

Leader Puspakamal Dahal (Prachanda)
Nepal Communist Party Maoist Chairman Puspa kamal Dahal Aka Prachanda.

22 NOV. 2013, KATHMANDU, NEPAL – After confirmation of loss of candidacy in the Kathmandu-10 election candidacy, Maoist Chairma PuspaKamal Dahal has claimed election fraud and conspiracy in the
ongoing constituent assembly election. According to NYTIMES article, Maoist has found many reasons to defy the result and not to accept the outcome and may his party will not represent in the future assembly for constitution writing process.
In the face of an apparent electoral drubbing, the leader of Nepal’s United Maoist party demanded a halt to the nation’s vote counting on Thursday because of what he called widespread vote fraud.
“Serious national and international forces are behind this, and we demand a suspension to vote counting,” said the Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the head of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
Mr. Dahal said that election workers had smashed ballot boxes and accepted false ballots. He called for an independent investigation and warned that his party might rejoin hard-line Maoists and refuse to participate in the Constituent Assembly if his demands were not met.
“We will not join” the assembly, he declared, as Maoist party members marched outside the party’s headquarters, shouting, “We are ready to fight!”
In a Constituent Assembly with more than 600 members, Mr. Dahal’s party was leading in just 19 constituencies on Thursday, compared with 75 for the Nepali Congress, a right of center party, and 48 for the Unified Marxist-Leninist, according to preliminary results released by Nepal’s Election Commission.
Mr. Dahal’s own attempt to win a Katmandu constituency appeared headed for defeat, as did that of Hisila Yami, a Maoist leader and the wife of a former prime minister. Mr. Dahal was also competing in another constituency, which he appeared likely to win.

But Maoist threats to end participation in this Himalayan country’s fledgling democracy could prove troublesome. A bloody 10-year insurgency ended in 2006, and the 2008 elections were considered a triumph in part because of Maoist inclusion.

Neel Kantha Uprety, Nepal’s chief election commissioner, promised to continue the vote count despite Maoist complaints. The first phase of counting is expected to be completed early next week, followed by a two-week process to determine each party’s proportional representation.

“There is no alternative but to accept the people’s verdict,” Mr. Uprety said.

Independent election observers largely dismissed the Maoists’ assertions of fraud and declared that the elections were well conducted.

“I am very disappointed to hear of the U.C.P.N. (Maoist) rejection of the counting process and withdrawal of their party agents,” said former President Jimmy Carter, one of the observers. “I trust that they will respect the will of Nepali voters as expressed on Election Day.”

Experts had predicted some erosion in the Maoists’ dominant position in the assembly, following claims of corruption and mismanagement while in power. But few foresaw the rout that seems to have taken place. One crucial change may have been efforts by Nepal’s Election Commission to cut down on voter fraud by issuing identification cards with fingerprints and photographs.

The new identity demands pared the voter rolls to 12.2 million from 17.6 million and were intended to prevent the kind of obvious irregularities that led former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to win his constituency in 2008 with more votes than there were voters.

Mr. Dahal said efforts to combat such irregularities may have cost his party the election.

“We were aware of the changes in voter rolls, which defeated us,” he said.

More than 70 percent of Nepal’s eligible voters participated despite an election boycott and transportation strike by a coalition of 33 parties, including hard-line Maoists.

The new assembly is charged with writing the country’s constitution, an effort the previous assembly was unable to complete after it became deadlocked over whether to adopt a parliamentary or presidential system of government, and whether ethnicity or geography should be used to divide the country into states.

It was hoped that the election would help fix Nepal’s political paralysis, which has afflicted its economy and forced many young Nepalese to emigrate.


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