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November 20, 2012

Nepal Vote Postponed Until Next Year

by VOA News

Nepal's interim government has decided to postpone elections set for this week until next year, after opposition parties threatened to boycott the vote.
 
Communication Minister Raj Kishore Yadav said Tuesday the Cabinet decided to hold parliamentary elections between mid-April and mid-May of next year. He said the date will be set after discussions with all political parties.
 
The Maoist-led caretaker government had planned to hold elections Thursday, but political and constitutional hurdles prevented the vote from taking place.  Opposition parties demanded that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai resign as a precondition to any agreement.  The Election Commission also said it needed more time to prepare.
 
The previous constituent assembly was elected in 2008.  Its two-year term was repeatedly extended because it failed to finish drafting a constitution.
 
The latest term of the Constituent Assembly ended in May when parties couldn't agree on another extension, leaving Nepal without a parliament.
 
Also Tuesday, President Ram Baran Yadav approved a $40 million budget to cover the rest of the fiscal year.