Ending months of political uncertainty, the three major political parties in Nepal on Friday constituted a high level political mechanism to end contentious issues and take forward the stalled peace process.
The move by ruling Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and the opposition Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is being seen as a major political breakthrough.
“The mechanism headed by NC chairman GP Koirala will focus on furthering the peace process, draft the constitution on time and end political uncertainty,” said UCPN(M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.
The former prime minister had returned to Nepal on Thursday night after a sudden trip to Hong Kong where he held secret meetings with senior Chinese government officials and office-bearers of Chinese Communist Party.
Besides Koirala and Prachanda, CPN (UML) chief Jhalanath Khanal will be the third member of the mechanism. Leaders of other political parties will also be included in it in due course.
“Today’s development is an important step in dissipating the air of misunderstanding and taking the peace process to its logical conclusion,” said Khanal after the meeting at Koirala’s residence.
The parties had been taking about constituting such a mechanism for the past nearly seven months to end differences. But despite several rounds of meetings and formation of committees, it had not materialized till date.
But the mechanism is unlikely to end the ongoing agitation by UCPN (M) seeking restoration of ‘civilian supremacy. The main opposition party is planning to launch indefinite general strike across Nepal from January 24.
“We have decided to keep on agitating till our demands are met,” said UCPN (M) vice chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha after a meeting of the party’s office-bearers at Prachanda’s residence.
Since stepping down from power in May last year after President Ram Baran Yadav overruled its move to sack the army chief, UCPN (M) cadres have been demanding an apology from Yadav and restoration of ‘civilian supremacy’.