Maoists’ landslide victory means country’s monarchy could soon be abolished
VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: Celebrations continued in Kathmandu on Monday, as Nepal’s former communist rebels strengthened their lead in early election results. Supporters took to the streets of the capital for a victory rally. Early results showed the Maoists winning 100 out of 179 constituencies where counting was complete, and leading in most other areas. The election commission said that with more than two-thirds of the 240 directly elected seats allocated, the Maoists held a comfortable majority. Final election results are still a few weeks off. Earlier, former US President Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Center sent 62 observers to monitor the election, said the results indicated a major transition for Nepal.
JIMMY CARTER, CARTER CENTER: If the Maoists do continue to gain substantial status among the candidates, which we don’t yet know, then my hope is that the United States will recognize and begin to do business with the Maoists.
NKWETA: Although the rebels ended their 10-year insurgency in 2006, the United States still considers them a terrorist organization. The election of the Maoists could put the country on the brink of sweeping change, including sacking the unpopular King Gyanendra and the abolition of the monarchy.
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