11/18/2017, 15.42
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Business people flee abroad to escape the money requests of political parties

by Christopher Sharma

Nepalis will go to the polls on 26 November and 7 December. Voters are called to renew the federal and provincial parliaments. Some 96 parties have registered. Requests for donations also come from “ different currents within the same party".

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Over the past few weeks, some of Nepal's wealthiest business people have become unreachable to escape the demands for donations from political parties.

Business people have gone abroad or switched off their phones to avoid pressures from political parties asking for money to fund the upcoming elections on 26 November and 7 December.

Nepal is in fact set to go the polls to elect the federal and provincial parliaments. A total of 96 parties have registered.

Pashupati Murarka, former chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCII), unplugged his phone ten days ago.

"We are facing pressure from the parties asking for contributions in excess of what we can offer,” he said. “The same applies to different currents within the same party. "

Ganesh Lath, Pradeep Kediya, Gopal Kediya and Subodh Kumar Gupta are other business leaders who have received requests for money. Last week, they fled to Indonesia to avoid them.

The business people who are still reachable are those running for office.

"We helped factions in the recent local elections,” said Kush Joshi. “Giving more money is not easy. At the same time, leaders are not creating a favourable environment for business, which makes matters even worse for us.”

"What is happening reflects the pain and suffering of the Nepalese business community,” said Bhawani Rana, FNCCI’s current director.

“We cannot protect the right to do business because senior politicians and those elected as prime ministers do not understand our situation and force us to make donations. "

The business community also fears the unification of the country’s various Communist parties, who have announced that they want to create a socialist country with a communist government.

The instability of the parties in power and the uncertainty affecting the economy and private companies have exacerbated the feeling of precariousness.

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