Nepal's ethnic party threatens poll boycott

Updated on Feb 19, 2008 03:10 PM IST
The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) threatens to boycott a key election in April if its demands for autonomy are not met.
HT Image
HT Image
None | ByDPA, Kathmandu

An ethnic party in Nepal, the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), threatened to boycott a key election in April if its demands for autonomy were not met, media reports said on Tuesday.

The warning came as an indefinite strike called by the group in southern Nepal entered its seventh day, paralysing the supply of essential goods, including fuel and food to the rest of the country.

"We will not meet the deadline of the election commission to submit a list of candidates for the elections," Rajendra Mahato, UDMF leader, was quoted as saying by the Nepal Samacharpatra.

"We are not against elections but under the circumstances, free and fair elections are not possible in southern Nepal and contesting it would be meaningless," Mahato said.

The front demands a single state for the entire southern Nepalese plains known as Terai, with the right to self-determination.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has rejected the demand, saying it would divide the country into two.

The rejection led to spike in violence in the south, resulting in the death of one protestor while over 100 people, including police officers, were injured.

"The talks are not possible as long as the government continues to suppress the agitation," said Mahanta Thakur, president of Terai Madhes Democratic Party.

"The government must create an environment for talks," he added.

He also rejected assertions that the group was seeking independence.

"We are demanding inclusion of ethnic Madhesi. Is that separation?" Thakur asked.

Southern Nepal has seen frequent strikes and escalating violence since the Maoists gave up violence in November 2006.

Both Thakur and Mahato were part of the government until recently when they quit their parties and parliament to start a new party in southern Nepal, saying ethnic Madhesis of the south suffer discrimination.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man, who stabbed Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie in New York on Friday.

    Salman Rushdie's attacker Hadi Matar charged with attempted murder, assault

    Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man who stabbed Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie in New York on Friday, has been charged with 'attempted murder and assault in the second degree', the Chautauqua Country district attorney's office said on Saturday. Matar was born and raised in the US, the head of the local municipality, Ali Qassem Tahfa, told news agency AFP. Rushdie remained hospitalised in serious condition.

  • Healthcare and LGBTQ rights activists hold a rally outside the San Francisco Federal Building in San Francisco, US, to demand an increase in monkeypox vaccines and treatments as the outbreak continues to spread. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

    Monkeypox: WHO creates forum, asks public to propose new name for virus

    The WHO has been in the process of renaming monkeypox since June alongside other efforts to urge the global community not to have any stereotypes around it. The zoonotic disease is disproportionately affecting men in sexual relationships with men and spreads via close contact.

  • Since the 1980s, Rushdie’s writing has led to death threats from Iran, which has offered a USD 3 million reward for anyone who kills him.

    Salman Rushdie: The free speech champion whose 'verses' put his life at risk

    A Booker Prize that catapulted him to the pantheon of global literary stalwarts to a fatwa by Iran's Supreme Leader that forced him into hiding and years of death threats, Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie was both idolised and demonised for a singular trait that defined his life and works -- championing free speech. His memoir is Joseph Anton, named for the pseudonym he used while in hiding.

  • Indian-British author Salman Rushdie.

    Iran's hardline newspapers praise Salman Rushdie's attacker Hadi Matar

    While Iran is yet to make an official statement on the attack on 'The Satanic Verses' author Salman Rushdie, several hardline newspapers in the country on Saturday openly praiseRushdie'ser. Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and torso on Friday while onstage at a lecture in New York state by Hadi Matar, a man from Fairview, New Jersey, who had bought a pass to the event at the Chautauqua Institution.

  • The Mumbai-born writer, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident identified as Hadi Matar on stage.

    Salman Rushdie had once complained about ‘too much security’: Report

    Read French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo slams Salman Rushdie, who was attacked and stabbed on stage at a literary event here stabbing A bloodied Rushdie was airlifted from a field adjacent to the venue to a hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania where the 75-year-old writer underwent surgery. In 2001, Rushdie publicly complained about having too much security around him, The New York Post reported.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now