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Nepal's political parties agree to end deadlock

world Updated: Dec 03, 2009 15:43 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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In a move that could end the present political impasse, all three major political parties in Nepal on Thursday reiterated their commitment to the peace process and formulation of the new constitution on time.

The commitment expressed by leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and the opposition Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) at a programme organized by a private TV channel is seen as a big breakthrough.

The programme was attended by Executive Chairman of NC Sushil Koirala,Chairman of CPN (UML) Jhalanath Khanal, Chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and a number of constitutional experts and intellectuals.

“Individual interests are hurting the national interest at present. We should forget about competition and think of cooperation to arrive at a consensus,” said Khanal while expressing the party’s commitment to the peace process and the issue of constitution formation.

He added that all parties should come to table to discuss contentious issues and there should be consensus on constitution formation, the type of government Nepal should have and the kind of election process that needs to be implemented.

Reiterating NC’s commitment, Koirala stated that a high-level political mechanism should be formed at the earliest to ensure mutual trust and consensus among the major political players.

“We should think why there is an air of uncertainty at present. Although all parties are at fault, the UCPN-(Maoist) is more responsible for the political deadlock,” he said.

Quashing rumours about his party trying to dislodge the present government, Maoist chief Prachanda stated that UCPN-(Maoist) is ready for a consensus on taking the peace process forward and formation of the new constitution.

“There are lot of speculations and baseless rumours that we are interested in grabbing power at all costs. Declaration of autonomous states doesn’t mean that we are forming parallel governments,” he clarified.

At the end of the discussion, members of citizens groups gave a week to all three parties to give their commitment on five important issues including consensus on drafting constitution on time, carrying forward the peace process and resolution of all issues inside parliament.

Nepal has been witnessing a political impasse since May this year, when the Maoist-led government stepped down over the President’s refusal to remove the Army chief. Since then Maoists have been agitating seeking an apology from the President and restoration of ‘civilian supremacy’.