In Nepal, a mass rally in Katmandu on Friday (8 June) called for the formation of a multi-party political system, following recent violent riots and the resignation of the government.
In Nepal, a mass rally in Katmandu on Friday (8 June) called for the formation of a multi-party political system, following recent violent riots and the resignation of the government. A national referendum will be held to decide the country's future. The rally was the first public meeting to be held int he capital since 1960, when political parties were banned.
SYNOPSIS: King Birendra appointed Surya Bahadur Thapa Prime Minister at the end of May -- after a month of anti-government riots in which twenty-three people were known to have been killed. Unofficial sources put the death toll twice as high. Former Prime Minister Kirtinidhi Bista resigned amid criticism of his handling of the disturbances.
Bisweswar Prasad Koirala addressed the rally on the need for the restoration of full democracy in Nepal. As a member of the national Panchayat, or parliament, Mr. Koirala has been imprisoned several times. In 1977, he was condemned to death. The sentence was commuted to exile.
The President of the Panchayat, Mr. Krishna Prasad Bhatarai echoed Mr. Koirala's call for a democratic parliament. In 1960, the present King's father and predecessor, King Mahemora abolished the democratic system and Mr. Koirala was one of the parliamentarians who was arrested.
Mr. Ganesh Man Singh, Leader of the Panchayat, appealed to the crowd, estimated to be more than fifty thousand, to vote for an all-party government. A fifteen member election committee has been appointed by King Birenda to supervise the forthcoming referendum.