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SC bars murder convicts from contesting election; Carter Centre starts election observation mission

KATHMANDU: Changing its earlier stay order allowing the murder convict to contest the elections of the Constituent Assembly (CA), the Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the government and the Election Commission (EC) to bar murder convicts from contesting the CA poll.

Acting upon the writ petition filed by a group of advocates Bishwoprakash Bhandari, Ramsundar Shrestha and Tulsiram Timalsina, who are said to be close to the UCPN-M, a special bench of Justice Girish Chandra Lal, Susheela Karki and Prakash Wosti issued the order to this effect. A writ petition was filed at the SC against the Prime Minister´s Office and the EC demanding that the murder convicts be bar from contesting the CA polls.

Earlier, the SC was dragged into the controversy as it issued an interim order not to bar murder convicts from contesting the CA polls. Today’s verdict can directly affect the Unified CPN-Maoist leaders including Balkrishna Dhungel, a murder convict, who has been recommended by his party to contest the November polls from Constituency No 2 in Okhaldhunga.

The apex court on January 3, 2010 had convicted Dhungel, who was then a sitting CA member, of murdering Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Tarkerabari, Okhaldhunga. Shrestha was murdered in 1998. Justices Top Bahadur Magar and Rajendra Prasad Koirala had slapped a 20-year jail sentence on Dhungel. Following the stay order of the Supreme Court, Dhungel has been involved in publicity of the election.

The Carter Center has launched an international election observation mission for upcoming elections of the Constituent Assembly (CA) slated for November 19 at the invitation of government, political parties and the Election Commission.

“The Center deployed this week 12 long-term observers across Nepal, placing teams in the five development regions and a roaming team in the Terai region, to gain firsthand knowledge of the activities of the election commission, political parties, civil society organizations, and the international community, as well as other citizen and international election observation missions,” reads a statement issued by the center on Thursday.

According to the statement, these 12 observers, representing eight countries, will be joined by an additional 40 short-term observers shortly before the elections. The Center will also release periodic public statements on electoral findings.

The Center had also observed 2008 CA elections and has remained present conducting long-term political and constitutional monitoring to June 2013.

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For Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-ve) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point

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