Parties miss deadline, yet again
Say CA polls if pact not had in couple of days
KATHMANDU, SEP 17 - As they failed to meet a mid-September deadline they had set for themselves, major political forces on Sunday agreed to go for fresh Constituent Assembly elections if consensus on contentious issues of a new constitution is not had within a couple of days.
The parties had on August 29 set the deadline for deciding on whether it will be CA revival or fresh polls to take the country out of the current crisis.
A meeting of the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha on Sunday also struck an understanding to intensify negotiations from Monday to end the current political and constitutional deadlock.
The first priority of the political parties is consensus on unresolved issues of the new constitution and reviving the CA for a brief period to promulgate the constitution. If they fail to reach an agreement on CA revival, leaders said they will not hang on to the issue and will go for fresh CA elections.
According to leaders, they will hold "serious meetings" for some days.
After Sunday's meeting, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala claimed they will come to a conclusion within 2-3 days. “We will end the deadlock soon; if consensus on contentious issues of the new constitution is not possible, we will go for fresh elections,” he said. He added that his party has given more priority to elections than CA revival.
In the meeting, the NC and the UML urged the Maoist leadership to agree on the May-15 agreement forged among the parties. On May 15, they had agreed to federate the country into 11 states on the basis of multiple identities and adopt a mixed model of governance. Though the UML has not officially given up its stance on a seven-state model, it has hinted that it may accept the 11-state model if that helps bring about consensus.
Another bone of contention among the parties is the government. The NC and the UML have demanded Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai's resignation at the earliest to pave way for national consensus. However, the UCPN (Maoist) is in no mood to give up power, until and unless agreement on the new constitution is had.
“The replacement of the current government is the first step to consensus. The PM should immediately step down for consensus,” UML leader Ishwor Pokhrel said.
Posted on: 2012-09-17 01:00