Home > News > World
Friday October 11, 2013 MYT 12:31:17 AM
Friday October 11, 2013 MYT 12:32:11 AM
by gopal sharma
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - An election candidate in Nepal died on Thursday a week after being shot by motorcycle gunmen, his party said, heightening fears that violence could mar a vote meant to stabilise one of Asia's most volatile nations.
Nepal, wedged between giants China and India, is scheduled to hold elections on November 19 for a Constituent Assembly charged with preparing the young republic's first constitution since the abolition of the monarchy.
Mohammad Alam, from the Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party, died in hospital in Kathmandu where he was admitted with head injuries last week. He had been running for election in a region near Nepal's southern border with India.
Who shot him remains unknown.
"It is a setback for the security atmosphere for the elections," UML spokesman Pradeep Gyawali said. Police said they were investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.
UML said it was "outraged" at the incident. Alam's body has been taken to his home village in Bara district, bordering India, for a funeral on Friday, local media reported.
Since the shooting, political parties have demanded that the caretaker government provide adequate security to candidates especially in the southern plains where some armed groups are fighting for regional autonomy.
A breakaway group of Maoist ex-rebels has threatened to disrupt the vote with protests and strikes, saying the main political parties excluded them from all negotiations before the election.
About a dozen people, including two candidates, were killed in violence in the run-up to the 2008 vote.
The government says it is committed to peaceful elections and has called on soldiers to help protect the voting, backing up the 100,000-strong police force.
Nepal has been in political limbo since a special assembly was dissolved last year without drafting a new constitution, a central condition of a 2006 peace deal that ended a decade-long Maoist insurgency. More than 16,000 people were killed in the conflict.
More than 100 political parties including former rebels have registered with the election commission for the November polls.
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)