Amid violence Nepal braces for another election | world | Hindustan Times
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Amid violence Nepal braces for another election

world Updated: Nov 18, 2013 12:00 IST
Utpal Parashar

Notwithstanding incidents of violence from across the country, Nepal is all set to hold constituent assembly polls on Tuesday.

It will be the second such attempt in five years after the constituent assembly elected in 2008 failed to draft a new statute – leading to constitutional and political crisis.

Chairman of the interim government Khil Raj Regmi termed the election as a “special opportunity provided by history” to safeguard the gains made after the civil war and the previous polls.

Nepal was able to declare itself a federal democratic republic, oust monarchy and conclude the peace process after the last election, but constitution drafting remained unfinished.

The main reasons behind that failure were differences among political parties on the kind of government Nepal should have and the means of restructuring the country into federal states.

Seeing their hopes of a New Nepal dashed has also affected voters. The total number of voters who registered themselves for this election has declined to 12.1 million from 17.6 million in 2008.

An ongoing strike called by a Maoist faction and nearly three dozen other parties opposed to the election could impact the number of voters who turn up to cast their ballot.

In the past few days, vehicles carrying passengers have been targeted with petrol bombs, resulting in the death of one person and injuring dozens. Reports, however, say the number of such incidents are lesser than in 2008.

It could be due to deployment of large number of police and army personnel. The Nepal Army had not taken part in security arrangements during the previous election.

“Adequate security arrangements are in place and I appeal to all voters to take part in the election without any fear,” Regmi said in his address to the nation on Sunday.

Despite the strike and violence by poll-opposed parties the international community is backing the election as the only option to end the prolonged crisis in Nepal.

India on its part has donated 764 vehicles to the Nepal government to ensure a free and fair election.