Madhesi Morcha warns it will oppose local body polls in Nepal | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Madhesi Morcha warns it will oppose local body polls in Nepal

Agitating Madhes-based parties of Nepal said on Wednesday they would obstruct elections to local bodies if they are held before the government addresses their demands.

world Updated: Dec 14, 2016 22:30 IST
File photo of Nepalese activists from the Federal Alliance (members of the Madhesi and ethnic communities) shouting anti-constitution slogans on the first anniversary of the new constitution in Kathmandu on September 19, 2016.
File photo of Nepalese activists from the Federal Alliance (members of the Madhesi and ethnic communities) shouting anti-constitution slogans on the first anniversary of the new constitution in Kathmandu on September 19, 2016.(AFP)

Agitating Madhes-based parties of Nepal said on Wednesday they would obstruct elections to local bodies if they are held before the government addresses their demands.

The warning came a day after Nepal’s three major political parties - the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and CPN- Maoist Center - agreed to hold polls to locla bodies by the end of April next year.

Concluding that elections cannot take place under in “cloudy political circumstances”, a meeting of the Samuktya Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes- based parties protesting against the new Constitution, urged the government to address its demands before holding the elections.

The government has registered a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament to address the demands of the agitating parties. 

But top leaders of the three major parties decided on Tuesday to put the bill on hold and to conduct the elections first. This was done without consulting the Madhes-based parties. The major parties said it was mandatory to hold the elections to implement the new Constitution and to preserve the achievements of the last decade after Nepal agreed to a peace process with Maoist rebels in 2006.

They also said the polls could end the political standoff and usher in stability.  

Miffed by the move, the Madhes-based parties stated the “decision to put on hold the constitutional amendment bill will aggravate the crisisand will push Nepal towards a state of uncertainty”. In such a situation, they said, holding elections will be a "suicidal act politically”.

A total of 59 people were killed in Nepal’s southern plains during protests against the new Constitution, which was adopted in September last year. Successive governments have largely failed to address the demands of the Madhesi parties such as citizenship, demarcation of new provinces, and making the Constitution more inclusive

Nepal’s politicians are divided over the constitutional amendment bill and the main opposition CPN-UML has obstructed proceedings in Parliament.

Madhesi leaders are expected to meet Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and Nepali Congress chief Sher Bahadur Deuba on Thursday discuss the amendment bill and the local body elections.