Maoists agree to join Nepal Govt
Govt has agreed to dissolve parliament and conduct polls to a constituent assembly, meeting demand of rebels.india Updated: Jun 17, 2006 10:28 IST
In a landmark decision paving the way for Maoists’ joining the political mainstream in Nepal, the rebels on Friday agreed to join an interim government and dissolve the administration in areas under their control.
The government on its part agreed to dissolve parliament and conduct elections to a constituent assembly, meeting a key demand of the rebels, said a joint press statement issued after the first ever face-to-face talks between Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist supremo Prachanda.
“This is a historic decision and will move the country in a new direction,” Prachanda told a crowded press meet after the talks that lasted over 10 hours.
“We reached an eight-point understanding to get the country ahead of the current crisis,” said Home Minister Krishna Sitoula, who also led the government's peace negotiation team.
As per the understanding, the Nepalese government is to dissolve Parliament and set up the interim government that would include the Maoists.
Prachanda said he wanted the interim government in place within one month and elections to a constituent assembly by May 2007 at the latest.
“A new interim consititution will be prepared within three weeks and after that the new interim government will be formed,” he said. He also offered to dissolve Maoist administration in areas under their control once Parliament is dissolved.
“We will dissolve the old parliament, we will dissolve our governments, this is the main spirit of the decision taken at the meeting,” the Maoist chief said.
Prachanda, whose real name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, was accompanied by his wife, his deputy Baburam Bhattarai and chief Maoist peace negotiator Krishna Bahadur Mahara to the talks at the residence of 84-year old Koirala.
The Home Minister, who also heads government’s peace talks team, had flown the Maoist delegation in a helicopter from Pokhara, a famous tourist spot in western Nepal. The venue was manned by a large posse of police personnel and Maoist cadre dressed in civilian clothes. Prachanda and his delegation was escorted to the PM’s residence in Baluwatar at 9.30 a.m.