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Maoists may rejoin government

Maoists in Nepal may soon re-join the interim government, says Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, reports Anirban Roy.
Hindustan Times | By Anirban Roy, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON OCT 18, 2007 09:07 PM IST

Maoists in Nepal may soon re-join the interim government, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, said. Sitaula said on Thursday at Biratnagar Airport on his way to his home district Jhapa that the Maoists would rejoin the government after the Dashain (Dusserah) festival, which ends next week.

The Maoists wriggled out of the interim government on September 18 in protest against Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's adamant attitude in resolving their two main demands-— declaration of republic and proportional system for the Constituent Assembly election.

The Home Minister's statement on the Maoists' return to the government is sure to raise many an eyebrows as the two key demands still remained unsettled. None of the Maoist leaders made any statement on the issue.

However, Sitaula's claim cannot just be overlooked as he has always been "very close" to the Maoist chief Prachanda.

Moreover, he also played a pro-active role in bringing the Maoists within the framework of the historic 12-point agreement signed in October 2005.

The Home Minister also claimed that the new date for the CA elections will also be fixed shortly after the festive season.

The CA election, which was scheduled on November 22, had to be cancelled after the political parties failed to address the two key Maoist demands.

The Maoists even summoned a special session of the interim parliament on October 11, to discuss and force the other parties to endorse their demands. The sitting of the special session has now been adjourned till October 28.

Meanwhile, Maoist spokesman and the party's leader in the parliament, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, on Wednesday appealed to the people of Nepal to choose between a republican order and monarchy.

Mahara made the appeal in a statement addressed to members of parliament. A copy of the appeal has also being circulated through the internet. "The nation is passing through a critical phase and hopes and aspirations of the Nepali people are under threat now," he said.

The Maoist leader said declaration of a republic before the CA polls has become all the more important at a time when "foreign regressive forces" have started plotting against Nepal's sovereignty.

Accusing the government of failing to take action against the perpetrators of communal violence in Kapilvastu, Mahara said regressive forces are all out to protect the 238-year-old institution of monarchy.

The Maoist leader warned that the country will face a disaster if steps are not taken on time to resolve the political impasse.

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