Madhesi parties agreed to participate in second phase of polls

Vastavam web: Nepal’s agitating Madhesi parties have agreed to participate in the second phase of local-level elections to be held on Wednesday, the government said today. Rastriya Janta Party Nepal (RJPN), Madhesi party and Biplab-led Maoist party have fielded candidates for the polls, Home Minister Janardan Sharma said.The second round of local-level elections is taking place in 334 local units in 35 districts of provinces number 1, 5 and 7.

The government is fully prepared to provide necessary security and required number of all security forces including Armed Police Force and Nepal Army personnel will be mobilized to ensure the voters’ security, Sharma told reporters here.He also appealed to the general public to cast their votes without any fear as the government has mobilized all the security agencies and civil servants accordingly in all the polling booths across the three provinces.”We have not seen any problem in smoothly conducting the polls,” the minister said.

“Local-level elections in the province number two was deferred after mutual consent between Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and RJP-N,” Sharma said, adding that no forces can foil the upcoming local polls as government has made full- proof arrangements for making them a success.The third round of local-level elections in province number two is slated for September 18.Some Madhes-centric parties have opposed the elections until the Constitution is amended to accommodate their views: more representation in parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.The Nepal government has tabled a new Constitution amendment bill in Parliament to address the demands of the agitating Madhesi parties ahead of the local elections.

Meanwhile, the US has urged all political parties in Nepal to mutually respect the freedom of non-violent expression and assembly and individual’s voting rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.”The United States remains committed to working with all stakeholders for a peaceful, inclusive, broadly-supported, and credible election process,” the US Embassy in Kathmandu said in a statement.