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Nepal King orders elections by 2007

But a precise date for the polls to the 205-member House was not set.
None | By Agence France-Presse, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON OCT 12, 2005 04:46 PM IST

King Gyanendra has issued orders for parliamentary elections to be held in Nepal by April 2007, state-run radio said on Wednesday, in line with his pledge when he seized power earlier this year.

"His majesty the king has ordered the Election Commission to conduct the parliamentary elections before April 2007," the radio reported.

Gyanendra, who sacked a four-party government in February for failing to stem a Maoist rebellion, urged political parties to cooperate and take part in the vote, the radio said.

But a precise date for the elections to the 205-member House was not set.

The last general elections were held on 1999.

Nepal announced on Sunday that municipal elections would take place on February 8 next year, 12 months after Gyanendra's power grab.

The municipal vote covering towns and villages in each of Nepal's 58 administrative districts, including the capital Kathmandu, is the first step to Gyanendra meeting his promise to restore civilian rule.

Gyanendra has been under pressure from the European Union, Britain and the United States to restore civilian rule.

An alliance of seven political parties in Nepal has already announced it would not participate in the municipal polls.

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