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Maoists not to seek president’s post

The Maoists decide not to stake claim for the president's post, but seek an apolitical person for the ceremonial office, says Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Jun 06, 2008 00:53 IST
Anirban Roy

In the wake of mounting pressure from political parties, Nepal's Maoists on Thursday decided to climb down from the demand to keep the president's post.

After a marathon meeting of the party's central secretariat in Kathmandu, the Maoists decided not to stake claim for the post of president, but strongly suggested that the ceremonial office should be occupied by an apolitical person.

"The party decided to move forward with a proposal to appoint a ceremonial president from the civil society," said senior Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

The Maoists reiterated its opposition to the demand of amendment of the interim constitution. "We did not take any decision on constitutional amendment as our main agenda, right now, is to move forward together," said Mahara said. "There cannot be political stability in Nepal if the constitution is amended."

The Maoists, the largest political party in Nepal, had been demanding both the posts of president and prime minister. The demand opposed by both Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML). The Nepali Congress is in favour of Girija Prasad Koirala as the first president of the republic.

In another development, the Home Ministry on Thursday recommended providing 75 armed security men for the dethroned monarch Gyanendra's Nagarjuna Palace. For Nirmal Niwas, the palace where his Gyanendra's son Paras lives with his family, the committee has recommended 40 security personnel, including Nepal Army and armed policemen.

Cutting across party lines, Nepalis have begun protesting against the government's decision to allow deposed king Gyanendra to move into a summer mansion from the Narayanhity palace, saying it smacked of privileges and went against the spirit of the newly declared republic.