Nepal rebels set deadline for interim constitution
Maoists will organise protests if the Govt fails to issue a provisional constitution soon to pave way for rebels to join an interim cabinet.Updated: Jan 06, 2007 13:00 IST
Nepal's Maoists will organise street protests if the government fails to issue a provisional constitution in the next eight days to pave the way for the rebels to join an interim cabinet, their chief Prachanda said.
But the rebels will not desert the peace process nor break the ceasefire even if the deadline is not met, the 52-year-old rebel chief said late on Friday at Dolakha, 100 km northeast of Kathmandu.
"There will be peaceful protests and the civil society will join them," Prachanda said in Nepali on the independent Kantipur television.
The Maoists signed a landmark peace deal in November declaring an end to the decade-old conflict in which more than 13,000 people have died.
As part of the deal they agreed to have a temporary constitution that envisages an interim parliament and a government which includes the rebels.
But the government says the interim constitution will become effective only after Maoist arms are locked in stores under UN supervision as part of the peace deal.
The UN has said some of its officials would be able to start monitoring the arms on Jan. 15, but a full monitoring mission will not be in place for some more time. It has not given any timeframe for this.
Maoists say the delay in issuing the interim statute would push back elections set for mid-June for an assembly tasked with preparing a permanent constitution and deciding the future of the monarchy the rebels want abolished.
First Published: Jan 06, 2007 13:00 IST