Nepal’s Maoists agree to join assembly, ending impasse

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Nepal‘s Maoists have agreed to join the country’s constituent assembly, ending a weeks-long impasse after they initially rejected the result of last month’s elections, a senior party leader said on December 22. “We have agreed to join the assembly and help draft a constitution” after other parties agreed to investigate alleged poll-rigging, senior Maoist official Narayan Kaji Shrestha told AFP. The Maoists, who were routed at the polls, threw the country into turmoil when they denounced alleged cheating in the November 19 elections, which were seen as key to completing a peace process after a 10-year civil war. Millions of Nepalis voted at the elections, hoping to instal a constituent assembly that would write a constitution and end years of political instability in the impoverished Himalayan nation. The Maoists, who dominated post-war elections in 2008, won just 80 out of 575 seats and came a distant third behind the Nepali Congress and Unified Marxist-Leninist parties.

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