Ethnic group says pulls support for Nepal government

AP News
Posted: Mar 16, 2017 12:42 AM

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An ethnic group from south Nepal said Thursday it has withdrawn support for the government and plans to disrupt upcoming district and municipal elections.

The move by the United Democratic Madhesi Front does not threaten the government with collapse, but it will make it difficult to hold elections as planned in May.

Laxman Lal Karna, a group representative, said they plan to protest outside election offices across the southern region.

The Madhesi ethnic groups from south Nepal supported Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal when he won power last year, with the hope he would amend the constitution. However, in the months since there has been little progress in amending the constitution.

The Madhesi groups oppose the constitution adopted in 2015, saying they should be given more territory in new federal states then was assigned to them.

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The violent protests in 2015 left more than 50 people dead in south Nepal. They blocked the border with India for months causing severe shortages of fuel and medicine in Nepal.

Five Madhesi protesters were killed by police fire last week in a south Nepal town when they attempted to attack a rally organized by one of the major political parties.