Nepal Congress snubs offer to join Maoist-led govt

The country has faced political instability and deadlock since the 2008 election to the parliament.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s main opposition on Tuesday
rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to
join the ruling coalition, saying it was not possible untill
the Maoists hand over all their weapons to the government.

"Nepali Congress won`t join the Maoist-led government
unless the UCPN-Maoist completely detaches itself from the
(former) combatants and hands over all the weapons to the
government," Nepali Congress sources said.

During a meeting with Nepali Congress president Sushil
Koirala yesterday, Prime Minister Bhattarai discussed the
possibility of forming a national unity government including
the main opposition party.

The country has faced political instability and deadlock
since the 2008 election to the parliament, delaying the peace
process and drafting of the constitution.

The election of 57-year-old India-educated Bhattarai as
the new Prime Minister on August 28 came after weeks of
political wrangling among the major parties in the

Bhattarai, in his meeting with Koirala, sought the
cooperation of the Nepali Congress in taking forward the
stalled peace process and speeding up the drafting of the new
The head of the main opposition party told the new Prime
Minister that his party is ready to extend cooperation, Nepali
Congress party sources said.

Koirala, however, expressed doubt whether the Maois party
can fulfill its promises to conclude the peace process due to
an intra-party rift.

Maoist hardline leader Mohan Vaidya "Kiran" has opposed
the move to hand over the keys of arms container to the All
Party Special Committee tasked to supervise the rehabilitation
and integration of the former rebels. The Special Committee is
entrusted with supervision integration and rehabilitation the
Maoists` Peoples Liberation Army (PLA).

Some 19,000 former Maoist fighters have been confined in
seven cantonments and 21 sub-camps across the country with
more than 3,400 weapons following the Compressive Peace Accord
reached in 2006.

The parliament, which was formed in 2008 after a popular
election, has failed to fulfill its main function to push
forward the peace process and draft a new constitution.


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