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I will be Nepal's first president: Prachanda

By Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
March 28, 2008 16:33 IST
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Maoist chief Prachanda has claimed that he will become the first president of Nepal after the crucial April 10 Constituent Assembly elections, even as he expressed doubts over the prospect of polls taking place on schedule.

In an interactive programme at Rajbiraj, an eastern Nepal town, Prachanda claimed that his party Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist would get 150 seats out of a total of 300 seats in the direct election, and that he will become the first president of the Himalayan nation after the polls.

He also sounded a note of apprehension over elections taking place on the scheduled date. "I am not confident that the CA elections will be held on the stipulated date," he said.

Meanwhile, the daughter of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala was also apprehensive about the elections to the Constituent Assembly taking place at the stipulated time.

Expressing concern over recent Maoist attacks against leaders and cadres of other political parties, she raised suspicion that the polls would be affected if the activities of Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League activists did not stop immediately.

The Maoists had recently attacked and severely injured Nepali Congress candidate Bal Bahadur K C in Solukhumbu and CPN-UML leader K P Oli in Morang.

Both Bahadur and Oli had accused Maoists of conspiring to kill them. The elections will be affected if the YCL excesses are not immediately stopped in hilly areas, Sujata said.

Sujata, who is also a candidate of the direct election from Nepali Congress in Sunsari district, said the YCL excesses could be fatal to the Maoists themselves.

Meanwhile, civil society leaders urged the seven-party alliance to immediately sit for dialogue to prevent any repeat of violence and murder during the election campaign.

They said they are extremely worried over the wave of violence and counter-violence dogging the CA election, for which the Nepali people had to struggle for over half a century.

Those issuing the statement included former Parliament speaker Daman Nath Dhungana, former minister Nilambar Acharya, human rights activist Charan Prasai and human rights activist Padma Ratna Tuladhar, among others.  

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Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
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