EC cancels all election programmes

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Kathmandu, Oct 5 (UNI) Nepal's Election Commission today decided to suspend the November 22 Constituency Assembly polls in the country.

The decision was taken following a government request to suspend the polls and the fact that the Commission alone does not have the right to fix a new date.

The Commission said as per article 63(2) of the interim constitution of Nepal, the government had decided to hold the polls on November 22, however, following government request the EC was ''forced'' to suspend its pre-declared all election schedule.

''We thank all political parties, leaders, the media, the general public and international community for extending their support during commission's preparation work for the polls,'' Joint Secretary at the EC Laxman Bhattarai was quoted as saying by Kantipur.

A meeting of the seven parties held at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's residence at Baluwatar this morning recommended the postponement of elections.

The Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-M), in a statement here, said it has agreed to suspend the November 22 elections to maintain the seven-party unity and continue the peace process.

The party agreed to suspend the polls unless a decision is taken through the Special House session regarding declaring the country a republic and adopting fully proportional electoral system.

However, it stressed that the party still believes in holding the polls on the scheduled date, provided its demands were met.

CPN-UML leader Jhalanath Khanal had said yesterday, after the meeting, that UML, was of the opinion that the polls must be held on time.

This is the second time the polls have been postponed.

The meeting of the top leaders of the seven political parties yesterday failed to break the deadlock over Maoists demand with both the government and the rebels denying desisting from stated position.


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