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Nepal polls in June not feasible: UN

The UN says that it is not technically and politically feasible to hold the June 20 polls in Nepal.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2007 13:22 IST

The top UN official for Nepal has said that it was not "technically and politically feasible" to hold the June 20 polls for the Constituent Assembly that would frame a new constitution for the Himalayan nation.

The chief of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Ian Martin, told Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koiralas advisor on Foreign Affairs Suresh Chalise that it is not "technically and politically feasible" to hold the Constituent Assembly polls on June 20.

"It will take little time to address the Terai and ethnic issues, and we dont have much time (if the polls are to be held on June 20)," Martin said citing the political turmoil in the Terai plains bordering India over greater political and economic rights for the community of the region.

"Martin told me that it was not feasible to hold elections on the said date if the issues of Terai and ethnic minorities remain unresolved," Chalise was quoted as saying in the media on Monday.

Martin-headed UNMIN was mandated to assist Nepal in holding the free and fair constituent assembly elections.

Martin is also learnt to have raised the difficulty in holding the polls on its schedule in his meeting last week with Maoist chief Prachanda, whose party is a major constituent in the interim government.

Martin told Prachanda that the date of any election should be announced 90 days ahead of schedule and the date for the polls proposed by the eight political parties was not feasible.

Martin advised Prachanda to resolve the issues raised by the ethnic communities including, Madhesis and Janajatis, so that a peaceful, free and fair elections could be held.

The UN representative also discussed with Chalise the dissatisfaction of the Maoists with the infrastructure available at the cantonments and the process of demobilising the 'Peoples Liberation Army' (PLA) housed in those cantonments.

Meanwhile, with growing uncertainty over the June polls, Prime Minister Koirala and Prachanda discussed ways to effectively meet the challenge to hold the elections on schedule.

During the meeting held at Koirala's residence in Baluwatar yesterday, the Prime Minister is learnt to have told Prachanda that the elections could be held on June 20 provided the major political parties remained committed to the goal.

"I need your and Madhav Kumar Nepals full cooperation to hold the election on the scheduled date," a source quoted the Prime Minister as telling Prachanda.

In a related development, Nepali Congress leader Sujata Koirala said the Constituent Assembly election was not possible on June 20 in the present circumstances.

"The election is not possible in June. Everybody knows that it is not going to happen," she was quoted as saying in the media yesterday.

She said since there were so many unresolved problems currently, it was not wise to hold the election amid confusion and dissatisfaction.