In the face of an apparent electoral drubbing, the leader of Nepal’s largest Maoist party demanded a halt to the nation’s vote counting on Thursday because of what he called widespread vote fraud. “Serious national and international forces are behind this, and we demand a suspension to vote counting,” said the Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the head of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Mr. Dahal said that election workers had smashed ballot boxes and accepted false ballots. He called for an independent investigation and warned that his party might rejoin hard-line Maoists and refuse to participate in the Constituent Assembly if his demands were not met. “We will not join” the assembly, he declared, as Maoist party members marched outside the party’s headquarters, shouting, “We are ready to fight!”
In a Constituent Assembly with more than 600 members, Mr. Dahal’s party was leading in just 19 constituencies on Thursday, compared with 75 for the Nepali Congress, a right of center party, and 48 for the Unified Marxist-Leninists, according to preliminary results released by Nepal’s Election Commission.
Mr. Dahal’s own attempt to win a Katmandu constituency appeared headed for defeat, as did that of Hisila Yami, a Maoist leader and the wife of a former prime minister. Mr. Dahal was also competing in another constituency, which he appeared likely to win.
But Maoist threats to end participation in this Himalayan country’s fledgling democracy could prove troublesome. A bloody 10-year insurgency ended in 2006, and the 2008 elections were considered a triumph in part because of Maoist inclusion.
Full Article: Vote Fraud Is Claimed by Maoists in Nepal – NYTimes.com.