Don't consider govt's flexibility as weakness: Nepal PM Sushil Koirala

Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday asked the Maoists not to hinder the process of drafting the new Constitution, saying the government's flexibility on the issue should not be seen as its weakness.

Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday asked the Maoists not to hinder the process of drafting the new Constitution, saying the government's flexibility on the issue should not be seen as its weakness.

"Do not take the flexibility shown by the Nepali Congress-led government as its weakness," said Koirala, who is also the Nepali Congress president.

Reiterating that the new Constitution would be promulgated by the set deadline of January 22 next year, he said the government will show utmost flexibility to take into confidence the opposition parties, including the UCPN-Maoist to forge consensus on key issues.

People would sideline the forces who try to undermine their verdict as they did with the erstwhile monarchy in the past, he said.

As an important part of the peace process, the management of the Maoists' arms and the integration of the Maoist army into the national army were accomplished, the new constitution would also be drafted within the stipulated deadline, he added.

He, however, asked the UCPN-Maoist not to hinder the process of drafting the Constitution, which is essential to institutionalise the achievements of the People's Movement of 2006.

Koirala was speaking at a function organised by the Nepali Congress party to mark the birth centenary of Ganesh Man Singh, commander of the People's Movement of 1990 which restored multi-party democracy in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Nepali Congress General Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh said that the contentious issues of the constitution would be put for voting in the Constituent Assembly if the political parties failed to forge consensus.

Singh, the son of late Ganesh Man, said his party is organising various programmes to mark the birth centenary of the veteran democratic leader throughout the year beginning today.

Former Speaker of the Parliament Daman Nath Dhungana said democracy will be threatened if political parties failed to bring a new constitution on time, as mandated by the people.

The political parties should sort out differences and write the constitution at the earliest, he said.

The timely promulgation of a democratic constitution will be a true tribute to the great?leader Singh, he added.

Koirala also felicitated senior journalist Harihar Birahi with the Ganesh Man Singh People's Movement Award.