Nepal's poll delayed, set for April 10
Nepal's twice-delayed elections for a special assembly to map the nation's political future will be held on April 10, the government said on Friday, a vote expected to cap a peace process with the Maoists.Updated: Jan 11, 2008 19:14 IST
Nepal's twice-delayed elections for a special assembly to map the nation's political future will be held on April 10, the government said on Friday, a vote expected to cap a peace process with the Maoists.
The assembly will write a new constitution for Nepal, and will formally declare the country a republic after more than two centuries of royal rule.
"We have set the elections for April 10," Minister for Labour and Transport Ramesh Lekhak told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
They will be the first national polls in nearly nine years.
Elections for the 601-member constituent assembly tasked to prepare a new constitution, earlier set for November last year, were postponed after the former Maoists rebels quit the interim government three months ago.
That step by the former guerrillas, who began a brutal fight against the monarchy in 1996 that caused more than 13,000 deaths, triggered a political deadlock that clouded the peace pact.
The impasse ended in December when the government agreed to a Maoist demand to abolish the monarchy after the election, and this was approved by parliament.
Earlier the assembly had been expected to decide the fate of the monarchy. But now it will only rubber stamp parliament's decision to turn the impoverished nation into a republic.