Top 3 parties reach 10-pt pact to hold free, fair CA polls

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Kathmandu, Apr 1 (UNI) Top leaders of the three ruling partiesin Nepal - Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and CPN-Maoists today signed a 10-point understanding expressing commitment to hold the April 10 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in a free and fair environment.

The commitment was made public after a discussion held among Nepalese Prime Minister and NC President Girija Prasad Koirala, UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist Chairman Prachanda this morning at the prime minister's official residence in Baluwatar.

The trio has decided to set up a panel comprising the leaders of the parties to reconcile possible conflict among the parties during the CA polls.

In the commitment paper, the leaders also reached an understanding not to intervene in each others election campaigns and not to issue any remark that will make the upcoming CA elections environment hostile.

They agreed not to threaten, intimidate and torture the voters and further committed to prosecute those involved in such activities.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the leaders committed to fully adhere to the election Code of Conduct (CoC).

They reached a consensus to set up all-party mechanisms at local level to make the election process easy and peaceful and to investigate and take action against those involved in violent activities during the elections.

Likewise at central level, effective monitoring committees will be set up comprising civil society heads, according to today's agreement.

The top leaders also reached an understanding to enforce the pacts signed between the parties previously including the 23-point agreement.

Nepal Home Minister and Nepali Congress leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula said the 10-point deal has directed the security agencies to take strong measures against the violence at the threshold of the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls.

The deal has also encouraged his party cadres to contest in the elections in a friendly manner, he added, ''Today's pact will practically end the growing animosity among the parties while campaigning for the CA polls,'' Kantipur quoted him as saying.

Mr Sitaula claimed that the pact has boosted the morale of general people by ensuring the rights to exercise their franchise.

The Minister called on everyone to make the CA polls, which is set to bring a historical change in the country without bloodshed, a success.

Mentioning enough security personnel have been deployed for the election, he added the security network was strong for the CA polls.

UNI XC RJ VC1834

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