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Nepal: Prachanda to contest for presidency

Source: PTI
January 28, 2008 19:37 IST
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Nepal Maoist chief Prachanda is set to contest the crucial April election from two constituencies in a possible attempt to become the first president of the Himalayan state after the abolition of the monarchy.

The April 10 constituent assembly election will decide on a new political system for Nepal.

Mohan Baidya Kiran, a top leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist said Prachanda would contest the polls from Kathmandu and Rolpa in the western remote district of the country.

Earlier in January, the local media had reported senior CPN-Maoist leaders as hinting that they would want Prachanda to be made president of the Himalayan country after the crucial election. Maoists' slogans and posters have urged the electorate to vote for Prachanda to elect him as the first president of Nepal.

A high-level meeting of the central secretariat of the CPN-Maoist on Sunday finalised the candidacies of 11 senior leaders for the elections.

Emerging from the meeting, Kiran said party deputy leader Baburam Bhattarai will contest the election from Gorkha. The party has also decided to field Krishna Bahadur Mahara, a minister in the interim government, from Dang constituency, Nepalnews online reported.

Deadlock over the Maoist demands for the abolition of the monarchy and reforms in the voting system had led to the postponement of the key election in 2006.

The Maoists agreed to take part in the democratic exercise in December and have started campaigning in earnest.

The April polls are expected to lead to Nepal being declared a republic, formally ending the 238-year-old monarchy in the country.

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