Top parties to seek package deal
UCPN (M) rejects UML proposal for NC-led govt
11 parties decry their exclusion
KATHMANDU, SEP 22 -
Major political parties on Friday agreed to seek a package deal on all issues related to holding fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, including the formation of a national unity government. However, the UCPN (Maoist) rejected the CPN-UML proposal to form a Nepali Congress-led government.
A meeting of the UCPN (Maoist), NC, UML and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) decided to entrust top leaders with sorting out disputed issues. UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, who represents the SLMM, were not present in the meeting.
Parties have got to settle several issues for holding CA election s, such as the government’s leadership, amendment to the Interim Constitution and electoral laws, number of seats, date, duration and electoral system. They have also initiated discussion on transforming the CA into the parliament once the new constitution is promulgated.
In the meeting, UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal proposed holding new elections by May next year, decreasing the number of CA seats. On Wednesday, parties had agreed to go for fresh elections after they failed to make a breakthrough in contentious issues of the constitution—a prerequisite for CA revival.
“We have agreed to hold a series of talks to forge a common stance on disputed issues,” said Maoist Spokesperson Agni Sapkota, after the meeting. Formation of an election government seems a prickly issue as both the UCPN (Maoist) and the NC are hell-bent on the government’s leadership. Parties have also differed on the nature and composition of the next government.
In the meeting, the UML proposed a NC-led government for holding new elections. “There has already been an agreement among parties to form a NC-led election government, so we proposed discussion on the issue among top leaders,” said UML leader Nepal.
The UML is pressing NC to fix its prime ministerial candidate, while the latter first wants to be assured of its leadership in the new government. The party’s internal bickering is also a major reason behind NC’s dilly-dallying on announcing the PM candidate. All three top leaders—Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ramchandra Poudel—are reportedly vying for the top post though Koirala has not publicly expressed his aspiration.
In the meeting, Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato proposed formation of a “neutral government” led by a former Supreme Court justice or a civil society representative in case parties fail to come up with a consensual candidate. But other parties insisted a party-led government.
Meanwhile, a meeting of 11-political parties concluded that the ongoing four-party meeting would plunge the country into further crisis instead of resolving the deadlock.
They maintained that talks among those parties were not enough to amendment the constitution and electoral laws. After the meeting, chairman of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal, Upendra Yadav, stressed the need of a broader agreement among political parties.
Posted on: 2012-09-22 08:36