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Nepal's Maoists Win Election, Will Abolish Monarchy


Nepal's former rebel Maoists have won the largest share of votes in the election held earlier this month. The former rebels say their win means the end for Nepal's monarchy. Liam Cochrane reports from Kathmandu.

The counting of votes has taken almost two weeks, but now the Maoist's landslide victory is official.

The former insurgents secured about a third of the 601 seats of a special assembly to rewrite Nepal's constitution.

The Constituent Assembly will also act as an interim parliament and its first task is to abolish Nepal's controversial monarchy.

Maoist chairman Prachanda, who still uses his war-time alias, told reporters that the 240-year-old monarchy will soon be ditched in favor of a federal republic.

Prachanda said the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly will definitely end the monarchy and that there would be no compromise on this issue.

Prachanda and second-in-command Baburam Bhattarai, met with U.N. officials and ambassadors in Kathmandu to discuss Nepal's development and the ongoing peace process.

But the Maoist chairman slipped into controversial territory when asked whether his party would now renounce violence.

"Right now I cannot renounce every kind of violence, but we want to lead this peace process to a logical conclusion and we want create a model of peace, through this we want to renounce reactionary violence," he said.

But the chairman's comments were later contradicted by the party spokesman, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who said the Maoists had already renounced violence when they signed a peace deal in 2006.

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