Nepal: Will opposition to a fraudulent election sow the seeds of a new armed-revolutionary struggle?

[Three articles on the opposition to fraudulent elections follow. — Frontlines ed.]

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CPN-M threatens to disrupt polls

The Kathmandu Post

KATHMANDU, MAR 31 – An alliance of 33 parties led by CPN-Maoist on Sunday said they would only hold talks with President Ram Baran Yadav if the head of state assured that the ‘unconstitutional’ decision to form a chief justice-led government would be scrapped.
The alliance’s decision came two days after the four major forces and the interim election government decided to hold talks with agitating parties. The alliance, led by the breakaway Maoists, is disrupting the update of voter roll in districts and has warned to disrupt the proposed elections.
The meeting of the protesting parties held at CPN-M headquarters Buddhanagar concluded that it is meaningless to sit for talks with the current government formed by the “syndicate” of four major political forces.
“The current unconstitutional government has no status to hold dialogue with us,” CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung said. “We will only hold talks with the President.”
The agitating parties are preparing to handover a memorandum, requesting the Election Commission to halt the voter roll update on Monday. They have stressed that all the election-related activities should be halted until the constitutional process is brought into track by making an agreement between all parties over the new roadmap. A statement issued by CPN-M on the behalf of 33 parties urges the government and the Election Commission to stop all the election-related activities until there is a new cross-party agreement. The parties have also expressed reservations over the government’s preparation to introduce an ordinance against organised crime, which recommends stringent action for any activities aiming to obstruct elections.
“The plan to bring the ordinance is intended at suppressing the agitation. It shows that the government is just staging a drama in the name of holding talks,” adds the statement. The stance from the agitating parties came a day after President Ram Baran Yadav urged four major forces to hold dialogue with smaller parties to create a ‘favorable atmosphere for elections.’ Continue reading

Accusations of Vote Fraud Multiply in Afghanistan

[In another news report, Malalai Joya said: “We Afghans know that this election will change nothing and it is only part of a show of democracy put on by, and for, the West, to legitimise its future puppet in Afghanistan.”–The Independent, Aug.20, 2009]

The Washington Post, August 28, 2009

Complaints on All Sides Threaten to Discredit Result, Hinder U.S. Policy

MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan — One week after Afghanistan’s presidential election, with the winner still undeclared, increasing accusations of fraud and voter coercion threaten to undermine the validity of the results, deepen dangerous regional divisions and hamper the Obama administration’s goals in this volatile country.

A former journalist who has lived in Afghanistan since 2001 and is now an adviser to U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said she personally bought 10 voter registration cards on the black market. “I could have bought a thousand if I had wanted to. And I could take those or somebody could take those into a polling place, you know, one of the more remote ones, and just fill out ballots in the names of those people whose cards you have,” Sarah Chayes said on MSNBC last month.(Photo: REUTERS/Hamid Shalizi)

With U.S. popular support for the war in Afghanistan wavering, an election viewed as illegitimate by many Afghans would be a major setback for President Obama, who has increased U.S. military and economic efforts in a conflict central to his foreign policy.

Officials worry that a Kabul government tainted by allegations of election-stealing or destabilized by a potentially violent backlash could derail U.S. efforts to beat back a resurgent Taliban and build Afghan security forces. Continue reading