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Prachanda prolongs Nepal crisis

world Updated: Oct 20, 2012 22:59 IST
Utpal Parashar

He’s the most influential politician in Nepal now. But Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is yet to display the leadership needed to resolve the country’s crisis.

His latest prescription to break the five-month-old political deadlock is holding of election for a new President along with polls to constitute a new Constituent Assembly.

The country’s interim constitution doesn’t allow for fresh presidential polls till the new constitution is promulgated.

Opposition parties demanding Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s ouster to make way for a unity government rejected Prachanda’s pill as another attempt at prolonging tenure of the present coalition.

This is the fifth panacea offered by the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman in as many months since dissolution of the CA in May after failing to draft a constitution within deadline.

Prachanda’s fresh proposal also shows the level of distrust between the Maoist-led government and the country’s first President Ram Baran Yadav, who assumed office four years ago.

“Opposition parties have been provoking the President to play an executive role. If elections are to be held, why not hold one for a new President as well?” Prachanda told Nepali Congress leaders on Thursday.

“The UCPN-M chairman’s proposal to hold election for President is nonsense,” Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala told The Himalayan Times on Friday.

Prachanda has been changing his stances — on whether to go for fresh polls or to revive the CA — with his latest proposal suggesting simultaneous polls.