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Deuba claims voters were intimidated

Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba accused the Maoists of threatening voters during the Constituent Assembly poll, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Apr 16, 2008 23:08 IST
Anirban Roy

Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday accused the Maoists of threatening voters during the Constituent Assembly (CA) poll.

The senior Nepali Congress leader alleged that the Maoists bullied the electorates to garner support. Speaking to the media in the far-western city of Mahendranagar, he claimed the election was “not free and fair”.

“They (voters) could not participate in the CA election due to threats and intimidations from the Maoists,” Deuba said. Out of 218 constituencies whose results have been declared, the Maoists won 116 seats, while the Nepali Congress won 33.

Deuba’s allegation is set to raise eyebrows as international observers have certified the conduct of the April 10 CA election as “free and fair”.

The former PM, who is likely to succeed Girija Prasad Koirala as the president of Nepali Congress, said the party would decide on its future plans after analysing reports from the 75 districts. Deuba, who was elected from two constituencies in Dadeldhura and Kanchanpur districts, has directed all the district party units to prepare reports on the reasons of defeat in the election. The reports would be compiled in two weeks, he said.

“The major reason for our failure has been due to the lack of enough security measures,” Deuba said. However, the Election Commission as well as the international observers said the security situation during the poll was normal and there was no report of intimidation.

Unhappy with the election result, a section of the Nepali Congress leaders are already against the idea of joining the new government under the leadership of the Maoists. Interestingly, the Maoists are in favour of a coalition government.

The Maoists are in favour of a coalition government for consensus in drafting the new constitution. But, the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) have already made clear they would not be part of the new government.