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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 13:05 GMT
Maoists threaten to disrupt polls
Maoist rebel
Rebels have declared a unilateral ceasefire until January next year
Maoist rebels in Nepal have renewed their threat to disrupt the proposed municipal polls next February.

In a statement, rebel leaders Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai, called the polls a meaningless drama.

The rebel's move comes soon after an announcement by the nation's major political parties that they will boycott the elections.

The Maoists and the political parties recently agreed to put pressure on King Gyanendra to end his direct rule.

Last February the king dismissed a multi-party government and seized all executive powers.

Mobilising voters

The Maoist rebels said they would take "special action" against election workers and candidates in the scheduled 8 February polls and said they would impose a week long strike during that period.

Anti-king demonstrators in Kathmandu
The political parties are going to ask people not to vote

The seven main political parties have decided not contest the polls and said they would urge people not to vote.

"We will demonstrate around the polling centres by mobilising people to stop the voting," Jhal Nath Khanal, a top leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-UML told the Reuters news agency.

The king has been under pressure from the international community to restore democracy and to reciprocate the ceasefire declared by the Maoists till January next year.

The government has refused to enter a truce and said that the parties are free to boycott the polls but warned that they will take action if the parties tried to stop the voters from casting their vote.

Over 12,000 people have lost their lives in the decade long Maoist insurgency in the country.

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