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Nepal Maoists won't budge on ethnicity-based federalism

The ongoing constitutional crisis in Nepal is likely to prolong for some more time as ruling Maoists have ruled out compromise on single ethnicity-based federal states.

world Updated: Jun 16, 2012 00:02 IST
Utpal Parashar

The ongoing constitutional crisis in Nepal is likely to prolong for some more time as ruling Maoists have ruled out compromise on single ethnicity-based federal states.

Addressing a mass rally in Kathmandu on Friday, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) leaders refused to demands by opposition parties to create new states based on multiple-ethnicity.

Differences between Maoist-Madhesi coalition and opposition parties Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) on ways to restructure Nepal was the prime cause for failure to promulgate a new constitution last month.

“The need of the hour is agreement among parties to draft a constitution guaranteeing single ethnicity-based federalism,” Maoist vice-chairman and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai told the rally.

“We need to form a national unity government and contest the next elections. And if consensus can be reached only with my resignation, I am ready for that.”

Nepal is witnessing political and constitutional crisis after the Constituent Assembly was dissolved on May 27 for failure to promulgate the constitution and fresh elections announced.

Terming the government’s move as unconstitutional, 27 political parties including NC and CPN (UML) have launched a campaign to oust the government and refused to take part in elections.

Besides countering the opposition, the Maoist rally was also a show of strength against the party’s hardliner faction that has threatened a split accusing Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal of digressing from objectives.

The hardliners led by Vice-Chairman Mohan Baidya were planning to announce formation of a separate party on Friday.

“We are ready to discuss all their demands and I appeal to Baidya and other comrades to work towards strengthening the party,” Dahal stated in his address.