Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nepal king calls for new elections, opposition says too late

Nepal's King Gyanendra bowing under the pressure of a general strike and mass protests called for new elections today.

Addressing the nation during the Hindu New Year, Gyanendra said that general elections will be held in April 2007.

The monarch hinted though that the Maoist elements would not be considered in any polls.

The largest opposition party, the Nepali Congress, rejected the offer. They have claimed in the past that the king has rigged the polls assuring that his own candidates get elected.

On Friday, the United Nations warned Nepal against using "excessive force" against protesters calling for an end to autocratic rule. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "concerned" over events in the country and urged both sides to enter into dialogue.

Gyanendra took control of the country 14 months ago by arbitrarily sacking the elected government.

No comments: