A week after they joined hands to give the constituent assembly a fresh lease of life, the three major parties in Nepal are again bickering---this time over the Prime Minister’s resignation.
The fresh stalemate pertains to the three-point deal signed between ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) and opposition Maoists and their interpretation of how it should be implemented.
The first two points of the deal dealt with consensus to take the peace process to conclusion, complete the task of writing the constitution and extend the CA term by one year.
The third point was on formation of a national consensus government and resignation of the prime minister “as soon as possible”. This last clause is the cause of tussle between the three parties.
While Maoists want the PM to resign first, the ruling parties want them to spell out the total number of former rebels to be integrated into security forces before formation of the next government.
Accusing the ruling parties of backtracking on a verbal agreement that Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal would resign within five days of signing the deal, the Maoists have decided not to cooperate with the government.
After an ultimatum to the PM to resign within five days failed to have any impact, Nepal’s main opposition party now plans to launch fresh protests for “peace, constitution and change”.
Prime Minister Nepal says he is willing to step down as soon as the three parties sort out their differences, but like the Maoists, Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) have also refused to budge from their stand.
“The Maoists have the right to launch fresh protests, but they should be ready to face the consequences,” said Nepali Congress spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC after a meeting of the two ruling parties on Friday.