The leader of Nepal’s Maoist party, who appears to have lost in this week’s national election, demanded Thursday that the vote counting be stopped because of what he called massive irregularities. The irregularities occurred during transporting of ballot boxes and also during the counting, said Pushpa Kamal Dahal, leader of the United Communist Party of Nepal Maoists. “We are demanding an immediate stop to the vote counting and an independent probe into the allegations,” Dahal said, adding his party could boycott the Constituent Assembly if its demands are not addressed. He said the party has reports of ballots boxes being hidden for hours, and of ballot boxes being switched while being transported to counting centers, and that several boxes had gone missing.
Dahal’s statement came as election officials announced that he lost in a Katmandu constituency, coming in third in what had been thought to be a Maoist stronghold.
Dahal lost by a huge margin in Katmandu’s No. 10 constituency but he is also contesting from Siraha in southern Nepal where he appear to be strong contender. It is not against the rules and common for top politicians to contest in two seats to boost their chances of winning.
So far only two seats have been announced and both were won by Nepali Congress party candidates, while initial counting in other districts showed that the Maoists were trailing the Nepali Congress party and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist).