Nepal's Election Commission cautions three main parties over poll violence

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Kathmandu, Apr 1 : The Election Commission (EC) of Nepal has urged the top leaders of the three main ruling parties to reassure the national and international community by making a public commitment to abide by the election code of conduct and create a peaceful atmosphere for the April 10 Constituent Assembly poll.

Nepal's Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokharel sought a firm commitment from Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and CPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda when they met at the EC office to discuss ongoing anti-poll incidents and growing hostilities and find a possible solution.

Pokharel said the incidence of violence, killings and highhandedness has increased in recent days.

"Some of the candidates have even been prevented from launching their election campaigns in some parts of the country. Similarly, political party sister organizations have been trying to lure, intimidate, demoralize and terrorize voters through intensified violence in breach of the election code of conduct", he said.

"Any election held under such circumstances will have a serious question raised over its credibility," Pokharel said and warned that the national and international community would raise questions against them as well.

He also urged them to take necessary initiative for post-election management.

During the meeting, Koirala urged all political parties to make the election a grand success so as to create history and institutionalise democracy.

Nepal asked the EC to take a bold step and exercise its full authority for effective enforcement of the election code of conduct and for conducting the election in a free and fair environment, whereas Prachanda said that the EC should use its wisdom and maintain patience rather than exercise its power.

Everyone should act responsibly to further ensure an election environment and hold the polls at any cost so that the decade-long conflict would be resolved, Prachanda added.

The top three leaders of the ruling alliance are continuing their consultations today, in Baluwatar, to discuss ways to end the continuing clashes among their workers across the country and to take up the issue of electoral alliance.

According to Kantipur Report a team of civil society leaders is expected to be formed to monitor and report about such clashes and violations of code of conduct.

Meanwhile, the Nepal Police have been keeping extra vigil on infamous gangsters who could affect the outcome by taking sides with any of the political parties.

Police officials also claimed to have received information about dons who have started showing up in election campaigns and added that gangsters too, have the right to participate in the election campaign, but they should not be permitted to misuse muscle power against anyone.

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