Opposition leaders in Nepal have accepted the result of the referendum of the country's political future, despite allegations of ballot rigging.
SV PAN Cheering supporters of Prime Minister waving yellow flags in Kathmandu
SV & CU Nepalese Home Minister Jog Meher, being sprayed with coloured powder (2 shots)
GV Band marching away from Home Minister's residence, followed by cheering supporters (2 shots)
CU Prime Minister, Surya Bahadur Thapa speaking in English (2 shots)
GV Former Prime Minister Mr. B.P. Koirala, surrounded by supporters, speaking to newsmen in English (3 shots)
GV Armed troops marching through streets of Kathmandu (3 shots)
GV Students gathered outside building
CU President of Nepal Students' Union, Binalendore Nidhi, speaking in English
THAPA: "I am very much pleased to have the verdict of the people."
INTERVIEWER: "What are the changes that you are bringing in?"
THAPA: "This you have heard about in the proclamation of his Majesty. He has outlined."
INTERVIEWER: "Could you explain this further?"
THAPA: "Election with the direct adult franchise on the basis of the adult suffrage, and the Prime Minister will be elected from the House. And government will be directly responsible to the House. This is the main feature of this reform."
INTERVIEWER: "When will the next election be held?"
THAPA: "This will take its own course, you know. We have our constitution."
KOIRALA: "In accordance with the democratic model, and as I've been stating that view, I accept the verdict of the referendum, however, unexpected and inexplicable it may be. The support that our side has received is massive, and it is surely of unusual importance, because people have cast their votes in an adverse situation. They are committed votes. We shall have to build our democratic strategy in the coming day on the basis of this committed support. We know they were subjected to all kinds of hardship...(indistinct)...some even losing their lives in the face of hostile administration."
NIDHI: "The future will depend on the course events take. If there are advances in democracy, as the King has promised, the future does not look to dark, In this situation may ...(indistinct) ... the pre-1976 fate."
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Background: Opposition leaders in Nepal have accepted the result of the referendum of the country's political future, despite allegations of ballot rigging. The result, announced on Wednesday (14 May), showed fifty-four percent of the valid votes cast favouring the retention of the traditional Panchayat council system of government rather than a multi-party than a multi-party system. King Birendra, who decided to hold the referendum after widespread student protest, has said however, that there will be a national legislature elected by adult franchise.
SYNOPSIS: Groups of Panchayat supporters held noisy celebrations after the result was announced, but police kept them under control. At the residence of Home Minister, Mr. Jog Meher, the crowd celebrated in Hindu fashion by smearing each other, and the minister, in yellow and red powder.
Mr. B.P. Koirala, who led the campaign for a multi-party system, was surprised and disappointed by the result, but the Prime Minister, Surya Bahadur Thapa, welcomed it.
Mr. Koirala accepted the outcome.
King Birendra had called the referendum after street violence a year ago led to forty deaths. Those demonstrations were led by students, and their attitude to the result is considered crucial to future political stability in Nepal. The President of the nepal Students Union, Binalendore Nidhi, was cautious.