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Nepal Left parties come closer

After the high drama on Sunday at Parliament, the political polarisation in the insurgency-ravaged Himalayan nation has become a new root of anxiety, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Nov 06, 2007 05:21 IST
Anirban Roy

After the high drama on Sunday at Parliament, the political polarisation in the insurgency-ravaged Himalayan nation has become a new root of anxiety.

As the Maoists voluntarily vacated their proposal on republic, the members of the insurgent-turned political party supported the application of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninists).

In reciprocation, the CPN (UML) supported the Maoist proposal on fully proportional electoral system for the Constituent Assembly election. The undeclared “Left Alliance” in the parliament is now sure to divide the members.

Fully aware of the possibilities of polarization, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Speaker Subhas Nembang repeatedly requested the political parties comprising the Seven Party Alliance (SPA), to maintain the bonhomie.

The CPN(UML), one of the major factions of the ruling alliance, on Monday ruled out the possibility of political polarisation. The UML is being blamed for joining hands with the “ultra-left” Maoists.

In a desperate face-saving exercise, senior UML leader Amrit Kumar Bohara on Monday ruled out the possibility of any political polarisation between the left and the non-left parties. He also ruled out possibility of any change of government’s leadership.

“Yesterday’s (November 4) support to Maoists in the special session was just a parliamentary procedure,” Bohara claimed, adding that there would be no crack in the SPA.

However, a strong rumour has been hovering around the political circle that the UML supported the Maoist proposal for proportional electoral system following a unwritten agreement between the two parties. The agreement included supporting CPN(UML) leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the new prime Minister of the country, while Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai would be the Deputy Prime Minister.

While the CPN (UML) amendment proposal also talked about finalising a new date for the Constituent Assembly election, the new proportional system is sure to further delay the process. The officials of the Election Commission claimed that it took them almost a year to make the preparations for the mixed system of assembly election, which was scheduled to be held on November 22.

“But adopting a fully proportional system would take much more time,” a senior EC official said, adding that new election laws and ruled will have to be passed by the interim Parliament.