UN, diplomatic community upset over Nepal poll suspension

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Kathmandu, Oct 6(UNI) The UN Mission in Nepal has expressed its disappointment at the suspension of Constitutional Assembly polls in the Himalayan Kingdom.

The US, the European Union and the UN have also expressed their disappointment over the indefinite suspension of the November 22 elections.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Nepal and head of the UN Mission in Nepal Ian Martin said it was important for the political parties to keep the alliance intact.

''Although there will be great disappointment among many people in Nepal and on the part of the international community, what is important now is that the political parties maintain their alliance and go forward to agree on how to create the conditions for the Constituent Assembly election, and on how to sustain and deepen the peace process and its implementation. UNMIN and the United Nations system in Nepal remain firmly committed to supporting the peace process,'' Mr Martin said, according to UNMIN.

Besides, in a statement, the US embassy in Kathmandu said the US is disappointed by the decision of the Interim Government of Nepal to suspend the Constituent Assembly election process.

''The people of Nepal have been denied a timely opportunity to elect representatives to decide the framework for the future Government of Nepal. It is important that all parties firmly commit themselves to quickly establish a new election date,'' the US embassy said in the statement.

''We urge the Government of Nepal, with the full support of all parties, immediately to address the key elements of the Comprehensive Peace Accord which remains unfulfilled and to implement its agreements with various ethnic groups,'' it said, adding, ''The period between now and the Constituent Assembly election should be used to show the people of Nepal that the Interim Government is responsive to and can meet its commitments to make a better life for the people of this country.'' Meanwhile, the EU said, ''EU Heads of Mission are deeply disappointed that elections will not take place as scheduled. But this is a new phase and critical opportunity in Nepal's peace process. The EU is ready to support this new phase and remains willing to continue helping move the peace process forward.'' ''A clear roadmap for the peace process, set out publicly, with united seven-party backing, and covering both peace and development, will give the necessary momentum, and will build public confidence in the peace process,'' the EU has said.

The special session of the House, which was demanded by the Maoists, is scheduled to be convened on October 11.

Nepal government decided to postpone the election following the Maoists pullout from the government and warning that they would disrupt the election if their demands, including the declaration of a republic and proportionate election system, were not met with.

UNI

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