Nepal PM urges Madhesi Morcha not to boycott election

Indo Asian News Service

Kathmandu, April 21 (IANS) The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-centric parties, will pay a terrible price if it turns down the government's request to participate in next month's local level elections, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Friday.

The Madhes-based parties under the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on Thursday announced their merger to form a new party - Rastriya Janata Party (RJP). With 25 seats in total, the RJP has become the fifth largest force in Parliament now.

Addressing an election rally organised by CPN (Maoist Centre) in Birtamod, Jhapa, Dahal, also the chairman of the Maoist party, said his government has maintained utmost flexibility to address the Morcha's concerns to bring it on board the election process.

The Prime Minister said he will try to convince the agitating side to participate in the polls slated for May 14, the Kathmandu Post reported.

In case the Morcha leaders refuse to participate in the local elections, Dahal said, the decision will only hurt them and their reputation.

The people will reject Morcha if it decides boycott the elections, he added.

Dahal also claimed that the elections will be conducted in a single phase.

Later, a meeting between leaders of the ruling coalition - Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Centre)- and Madhesi Morcha leaders to discuss holding the local level elections in two phases and constitution amendment was held at the the Prime Minister's residence in Baluwatar on Friday. The meeting ended inconclusively.

The leaders have agreed to meet again.

At the meeting, both sides stuck to their respective stances.

The Morcha leaders reiterated that the constitution amendment bill should be revised, while the Prime Minister urged Morcha leaders to agree on the new constitution amendment bill registered by the government in the Parliament and take part in the May 14 local level elections, the Post reported.