Sunday, September 16, 2007

Will People's War Be Resumed in Nepal?

Maoists to quit govt by Monday if there is no agreement: Prachanda tells PM

Kantipur Report

KATHMANDU, Sept 15 - Maoist chairman Prachanda informed him that they have decided to quit the government by Monday if there is no agreement on the 22-point “pre-requisites” floated by the Maoists for the Constituent Assembly elections soon.

Prachanda flanked by his second-in-command Dr Baburam Bhattarai had gone to meet Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala Koirala at the latter’s official residence at Baluwatar Saturday morning.

“The Prime Minister told the Maoist leadership that this is not the time to quit the government,” Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula told reporters after the meeting. “The Prime Minister also said that the eight-party unity must be further strengthened.”

The Prime Minister also told the Maoist leaders to stick to the agreements with the seven parties.

He also said that unity between the eight parties must be maintained for the next 8 to 10 years.
However, Prachanda insisted that they will quit the government if there is no agreement on their demands including declaration of a republic ahead of the Constituent Assembly elections, then they will hold a mass assembly in the capital in two days to announce Maoist withdrawal from the government.

The Maoists plan to hold mass assemblies in different parts of the country to declare their upcoming strategies in the next couple of days.

The Maoist leaders also meet CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal today to discuss their demands.

Only yesterday, Communications Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara had disclosed that the Maoists have already issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Koirala to quit the government within the next few days if their demands were not fulfilled soon.

“We, all four Maoist ministers in the government, have issued an ultimatum to the Prime Minister to draw serious attention of the government to our issues related to 22 point (demands),” said Mahara, who leads the Maoists in the government. “We told him that if these issues do not become the agenda in the cabinet than we won’t have any other choice than to quit the government.”

When asked when they plan to quit the government, Mahara said that if the Prime Minister keeps on turning a deaf ear to their demand than they will be forced to quit the government by the end of the Nepali month of Bhadra (September 17). Earlier yesterday, Prachanda had said that efforts were on to take the other seven parties on board on “pre-requisites” for the elections.

At the same time, he had added that they would be compelled to take to the street if the consensus does not materialize.

The major factions of the ruling alliance such as Prime Minister Koirala-led Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have criticized the Maoists for trying to impede the November 22 elections by setting pre-conditions.

All other parties inside as well outside the parliament have already geared up for the elections.
(For further background, see also this Nepalese blogger on "Why I Agree with Prachanda on Republic and Proportional Election" here.

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