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NEPALI POLL SAYS 88 PERCENT WANT REPUBLIC
SARID, December 2, 2006
A new survey by the non-governmental human rights watchdog, Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) in Nepal, suggests that a majority of Nepalis would favor a “democratic republican set-up”.
The poll, conducted through interviews of 17,000 people in 56 districts, is the initial stage of the ongoing “Peoples Agenda for Peace” survey.
According to the chairperson of INSEC, Subodh Pyakurel, roughly 88 percent of respondents opted for an inclusive democracy with political representation extended to all.
Constitutional monarchy and ceremonial monarchy each attracted only about 5 percent of those polled. However, the survey revealed that most people were unclear about the concept of a ceremonial monarchy in which the monarch has a purely ritualistic role.
Asked about human rights abuses during the decade long civil war, 92 percent of respondents were strongly in favor of punishing violators in order to assuage the intense feelings of vengence harbored by victims, Pyakurel said.
At a meeting in Kathmandhu to discuss INSEC’s results, Nepali Congress leader Arjun Narsingh KC said that the survey would help in drawing up a new constitution to restructure the state.
The Maoists were also committed to upholding human rights, said leader Ek Raj Bhandari, adding that violators within their ranks were duly disciplined. He asserted that the concept of human rights depends on the perceptions of people.
Sources: The Himalayan Times (http://www.thehimalayantimes.com), INSEC (http://www.inseconline.org).