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Nepal: 'Democratic' Prachanda warns media
May 31, 2008 18:15 IST
Maoist chairman Prachanda, expected to lead the next government in Nepal, has warned the media against criticising his party, saying that "we will no longer tolerate criticism as we have already been elected by the people".
Addressing a rally to celebrate the declaration of republic in Kathmandu Prachanda said his CPN-Maoist will not tolerate further criticism by the media and warned of serious consequences if it continued to criticise the party.
Targeting the Kantipur publication that brings out the largest circulated dailies Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post, the former rebel leader said, "You journalists did well to continuously criticise the Maoists before the constituent assembly polls, otherwise the election would not have taken place at all."
"Now we will no longer tolerate criticism as we have already been elected by the people," he said, adding that the other newspapers criticising the Maoist will also meet the same fate.
The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) has flayed Prachanda's statement describing it as remarks directed against the freedom of the press.
"This has raised suspicion in the Maoists' commitment towards a free press," FNJ president Dharmendra [Images] Jha said in a statement.
FNJ also asked the Maoists to demonstrate their commitment to a free press in the country by making their party's policy towards press freedom public.
The Maoists have emerged as the largest party in the 601-member constituent assembly with no one getting clear majority. The deadlock among the political parties has caused delay in the formation of the coalition government.