During an interaction programme organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs a host of speakers stressed on the need for civil society and media to play neutral and non-partisan role for the consolidation of democracy. Periodic elections are important for democracy to consolidate, but what is more important is free press and responsible civil society, they pointed out. In South Asia where elections are influenced by the use of muscle, money and mafia, democracy is always threatened, they pointed out.
Those speaking on the occasion included journalists, Chandrasekhar, Ritu Raj Subedi, Yug Nath Sharma, Shirish B. Pradhan, Shalik Subedi, Jagadishwor Pandey, Kamal Dev Bhatta and Chandra Dev Bhatta, representatives of Frederic Ebert Stiftung. Matrika Poudel was the moderator of the programme chaired by Rajendra Pandey.