Thousands of Maoists set to demonstrate in Nepal
The protest in Kathmandu aims to press the government to ensure key elections occur on time.Updated: Feb 13, 2007, 10:27 IST
Thousands of supporters of former Maoist rebels are expected to hold a mass demonstration in the Nepali capital on Tuesday to press the government to ensure key elections occur on time, a Maoist spokesman said.
Maoist chief Prachanda, who ended 25 years of underground politics after a peace process began last year, is expected to make a rare address at the demonstration in Kathmandu.
His appearance was timed to mark the 11th anniversary of the beginning of the Maoists' armed conflict against the Himalayan nation's monarchy that killed more than 13,000 people.
The Maoists signed a peace deal with the government in November, paving the way for them to join an interim parliament.
They said Tuesday's demonstration was called to press the government to hold assembly elections as scheduled in June. The assembly will draft a new constitution which Maoists say will abolish the monarchy.
"We suspect the reactionaries are trying to sabotage the elections," said Maoist spokesman, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, referring to supporters of King Gyanendra, who was forced to end his absolute power after mass protests last year.