Prachanda expresses regret for violent constituent assembly brawl

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2015 21:50 IST

A day after his party's lawmakers attacked ruling party leaders, security staff and vandalized Nepal's constituent assembly, Maoist party chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda expressed regret for the incident.

The chairman of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) stated the incident occurred amidst confusion over attempts by the ruling parties to promulgate the new constitution through majority voting instead of consensus.

"When the Nepali Congress chief whip tried to reach the rostrum our lawmakers thought ruling parties were bringing constitution through voting. The situation deteriorated after that," he told journalists on Wednesday.

Prachanda added that the incident inside the constituent assembly that led to three ruling party lawmakers getting hurt, injuries to three marshals and damage of furniture was a mistake and stressed it won't be repeated.

"We hadn't planned to resort to vandalism. Our purpose was to stage peaceful protest as we were determined to prevent the ruling parties from adopting the constitution through voting," he said.

The incident and subsequent events like Tuesday's nationwide strike which saw cadres belonging to a Maoist-led alliance of opposition parties has ensured Nepal won't get a new constitution within the January 22 deadline.

With just one day for the deadline to expire proceedings inside the constituent assembly were postponed again till Thursday after lawmakers from Maoist and Madhesi parties continued sloganeering inside the hall on Wednesday.

The UN on Wednesday condemned violence inside the constituent assembly and urged all parties to return to the negotiation table and redouble efforts to secure an inclusive constitution.

"We call upon them to provide forward looking leadership in the larger national interest and continue constitutional negotiations in a spirit of flexibility and urgency," said a statement issued by the UN resident coordinator in Nepal on behalf of the international community.

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