May 31, 2017 12:25 PM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
Photo: Dipesh Shrestha
KATHMANDU, May 31: The main opposition party CPN-UML has obstructed the parliament meeting on Wednesday, demanding resumption of vote counting in Bharatpur Metropolitan City, which has been halted since Sunday midnight after CPN (Maoist Center) representatives tore some ballot papers.
Following the obstruction from the main opposition, House meeting has been deferred till 1 pm Thursday 1 pm. Parliament meeting was scheduled to start deliberations on the annual budget unveiled by the government on Monday.
After UML lawmakers stood from their seats to protest against the Bharatpur incident, Speaker Onsari Gharti asked the party to put forth its demand in the House. Speaking in the meeting UML lawmaker Surendra Pandey demanded immediate resumption of vote counting in Bharatpur and punishment for the Maoists involved in the ballot-tearing incident.
"The UML will declare its victory in Bharatpur if the stalled vote counting is not resumed immediately," warned Pandey. He claimed that UML candidate Devi Gyawali was about to win the election when the vote counting was halted after the ballot-tearing incident.
“The incident was deliberate and was aimed at undermining the people's mandate,” said former finance minister Pandey.
UML has been claiming that the incident was orchestrated with an aim to alter the election results. Two cadres of CPN (Maoist Center) have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Pandey further said if the government decided to hold re-election in Bharatpur, it will set a wrong precedent.