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PM says Nepal has 2 choices: assembly revival or polls

world Updated: Aug 13, 2012 23:32 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai feels revival of the Constituent Assembly or fresh polls for a new one are the only options to resolve the country’s ongoing political crisis.

“Any other option to draft the constitution would be very regressive in the context of present Nepal and no progressive force would or should accept it,” he wrote in ‘Kantipur’, Nepal’s highest circulated daily, on Monday.

The present impasse in Nepal is result of dissolution of the CA in May without a constitution due to lack of consensus on federalism and differences among major parties over next elections and power.

While the ruling Maoist-Madhesi coalition wants to hold elections, opposition parties like Nepali Congress have refused to take part in polls till Bhattarai resigns and a national unity government headed by it is formed.

Bhattarai’s first option includes restarting the constitution drafting process from where it collapsed on May 27 and implementation of an earlier deal on power-sharing and constitution among the major parties.

“For that we have to first agree on federalism and other points of discord in the new constitution and promulgate it by reviving the CA for a brief period,” he wrote.

Formation of a Nepali Congress-led government soon after the new constitution is promulgated and fresh polls to elect a new parliament are the other points of this option.

“This is the quickest and best option, but fraught with some difficulty. Since this way out is primarily Nepali Congress’s wish, they have to think seriously on it,” Bhattarai wrote.

The second option deals with parties agreeing on a date to elect a new CA, removal of legal and procedural hurdles in holding the elections, formation of a national unity government and holding of fresh polls.

The PM says this option would require a new deal among parties on who would head the government and ways to overcome differences on key issues of the new constitution.

Parties would also need to agree on whether to reduce the number of CA members from the existing 601 and transforming the CA to legislature-parliament once the new constitution comes into effect.

“This is a more democratic option, but it can cause lot of bitterness among parties and there is possibility that the new CA also fails in formulating the constitution,” he wrote.

Bhattarai also stressed on need for consensus among parties on completing the stalled peace process by integrating former Maoist combatants into Nepal Army and formation of a truth and reconciliation commission.

“Come, let’s again learn from our past mistakes and weaknesses and move ahead. History and the masses will never forgive those who fail to learn from mistakes,” Bhattarai appealed to all parties.