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Poll opposing parties withdraw Nepal bandh; Condemns the decision to mobilize army for poll

KATHMANDU: With the decision of the Election Commission to postpone the electoral process by one week, poll opposing CPN-Maoist -led 33-party alliance has withdrawn its earlier plan of nationwide closure on September 25 and 26.

The meeting of the alliance decided to withdraw Nepal bandh (Shutdown strike) earlier announced for September 25 and 26. The party also informed that the alliance has no any plans of closure in immediate future. The alliance, which has been announcing various protest programs against the November election announced bandh to thwart the candidacy filing process.

The Commission postponed dates for filing candidacy for CA poll without affecting the final date of Constituent Assembly election slated for November 19.

The 33-party alliance had earlier called the bandh on September 25 and 26 after the EC had set September 23 and 26 as last dates to finalize the nominations of candidates for the polls under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) and proportional electoral systems respectively. Following the extension of the deadline, the political parties can nominate their FPTP candidates by October 3 and candidacies under proportional system by September 30 the latest.

The alliance was forced to take back its closure plan after the EC, in government’s recommendation, extended the deadline for candidate registration by a week. They also informed that the next meeting of the parties would announce new protest programs against the Constituent Assembly (CA) election.

The meeting also condemned the raid conducted by a team of armed Indian policemen on Wednesday after illegally entering into Nepali territory at Gulariya of Bardiya district, demanding that the government investigate the incident and pursue the matter with the concerned Indian authorities

Meanwhile, the alliance further condemned the government decision to deploy the Nepal Army for the poll security, arguing that it would invite conflict in the nation. The dissenting parties decided to protest the army deployment move, and demanded the withdrawal of the decision.

“Misusing the Nepal Army for a purely internal affair like election is violation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord,” read a statement issued by the CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung on behalf of the alliance.

The talks between the poll opposing parties and the HLPC failed after the poll opposing parties remained adamant to their stance of deferring the election of the constituent assembly and also the resignation of the Chairperson of the Interim Election Government from the post of Chief Justice.

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