Muslims demand seats in Nepal election

A leading Muslim group in Nepal said yesterday it would organise street protests if the government does not meet its demand to set aside seats for its community in November elections.

Muslims demand seats in Nepal election
A leading Muslim group in Nepal said yesterday it would organise street protests if the government does not meet its demand to set aside seats for its community in November elections.

The elections will elect a constituent assembly to prepare a new constitution and decide the fate of the monarchy in the majority-Hindu nation.

Mohammed Nizamuddin, president of the Muslim group Awam Sahara Nepal, said Muslims were left out.

“If the government does not address our demand we’ll be forced to come to the street and protest for it,” Nizamuddin told Reuters.

Nepal’s interim parliament, which includes former Maoist rebels, approved a law in June earmarking seats in the assembly for ethnic Madhesis from the southern plains and other indigenous groups that have been protesting for more seats in the polls.

The election, the first national vote in more than eight years, will cap a peace process with the Maoists ending a decade-long civil war which killed more than 13,000 people.

Muslims comprise about 4% of the population. Ijaharul Hak Mikrani, president of another Muslim group, the Intellectual Muslim Association of Nepal, demanded at least 50 seats for the Muslims in the 497-member assembly.

Reuters
Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2007, 17:53
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