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Nepal - Mange har tabt deres stemme allerede før valget!

NEPAL: To vote or not to vote?

IRINnews.org, 6. februar 2006

Der er ikke megen valgstemning i de 58 større byer, hvor der skal afholdes valg onsdag. Der er heller ikke megen trafikstøj eller aktivitet i øvrigt i kraft af, at maoisterne har erklæret bandh i 7 dage, fra 5.-11. februar. Der er ikke mange, der har lyst til at modsætte sig maoisterne, så der er meget stille i disse dage. Men det kommer næppe til at få den store indflydelse på de få byrådsvalg, der efter alt at dømme afholdes, uanset at hele valgsceneriet er en total farce. Der er da også kun kandidater opstillet i mindre end halvdelen af valgkredsene, mange har trukket sig, og mange af de opstillede ved end ikke, hvordan de er end som kandidater!

De normalt tæt pakkede gader i Kathmandu var stort set trafikløse mandag formiddag under maoisternes bandh, der strækker sig henover det totalt unødvendige valg, som kongen kræver gennemført - ©  Naresh Newar/IRIN
KATHMANDU, 6 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - For 25-year-old housewife Sabrina Lama, security for her family is much more important than politics. But now she feels she’s under immense pressure – from those pushing her to participate in Wednesday’s municipal election and those warning her to stay away. “I wish I had joined my husband for labour work in India,” explained Lama. Maoist rebels and the country’s leading political parties are behind the boycott and have been campaigning widely against the elections, which they say has nothing to do with democracy and is all about King Gyanendra consolidating his year-long direct rule. In February 2005, the king assumed direct rule over the nation’s 27 million people after sacking the democratic government led by former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Around 120 parties have boycotted the polls - there are no candidates standing in over 50 percent of the 4,146 municipality posts. The execution of at least two candidates by the Maoists may also go some way to explaining why these elections are seeing such little support. Ordinary Nepalis find themselves, as usual, caught in the middle. Kathmandu has been critical of the boycott and has been using state radio and television to persuade people to get out and vote and not to listen to those who want the poll to fail. There has been some international puzzlement at how a democratic election can take place in Nepal while the king maintains absolute rule. The European Union (EU) has been especially critical of the government holding elections during heightened tension in the country. Rebels called a halt to their unilateral ceasefire in early January and have threatened to attack polling stations, more candidates, voters and election workers on Wednesday. With security worsening, even some staunch monarchists are reportedly losing their nerve and have asked the king to cancel the election rather than risk bloodshed. Keshar Jung Rayamajhi, a staunch supporter of the king and a former senior palace official, said that instead of holding elections, the king should initiate dialogue with the main political parties and the Maoists to resolve the political crisis in the country. Meanwhile, Sunday’s week-long strike called by the rebels to disrupt the elections has reportedly succeeded: schools, colleges, transport, business and shops all remained closed on Monday. Kathmandu's usually congested streets were almost bare of traffic and shutters were down on the great majority of businesses.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]


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Opdateret d. 7.2.2006