Nepal’s prime minister may announce plans this week to push ahead with a general election in 2005 despite a threat by powerful Maoist rebels to “shatter” any vote in the embattled Himalayan kingdom. Commentators say a free and fair vote is almost unthinkable because of the long-running Maoist insurgency, political turmoil and growing human rights abuses. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to carry through on a commitment to prepare for an election — already delayed more than two years — after Maoists rejected his demand to agree to talks by Thursday. Full Story
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