The six-month-long peace initiative between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists in Nepal has finally produced a historic deal paving the way for the formal entry of the communist guerillas into the political mainstream.
The negotiating teams signed the deal after a marathon meeting on Wednesday. The Maoists will now join the interim government — led by current Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala — by December 1.
The deal includes agreement on the fate of the monarchy, on arms management, on an interim constitution, an interim legislature, an interim government and an electoral system for the Constituent Assembly.
As per the agreement, the fate of monarchy will be determined by the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly while properties of the late King Birendra will be put under a trust.
The ancestral property of King Gyanendra will be nationalised and the monarch will be powerless till his fate is determined by the Constituent Assembly.
On November 16, the government and the Maoists will sign a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, following which the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), will be sent to cantonments by November 24.
The interim constitution will be promulgated by the House of Representatives by November 26. After this, the House will be dissolved.
An interim legislature will replace the House of Representatives, which would have 330 members.
The Nepali Congress would have 75 seats, Communist Party of Nepal 73 seats, and Maoists 73 seats.
In fact, 205 sitting MPs of the House of Representatives and National Assembly will be nominated by their respective parties to the interim legislature.
Apart from them, the Maoists will nominate 73 members and 48 members will be chosen from civil society, professional organisations and various party organisations.