‘Nepal PM will quit if peace guaranteed’
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 20:41
Kathmandu: As the deadline set by Maoists for embattled Madhav Kumar Nepal to quit ends tonight, his senior Cabinet colleague has said the Prime Minister is ready to step down if peace and constitution drafting are guaranteed by the former rebels.

"If the Maoists guarantee to complete the peace process by implementing all the past agreements and to draft a democratic constitution, the Prime Minister will quit," Minister for Information and Communication Shanker Pokharel said today at a function here.

Unless the Maoists abandon the attitude of capturing power through weapons, peace and constitution cannot be guaranteed, he said.

"Until and unless the Maoists show full commitment to implement the 12-point agreement and the Comprehensive Peace Process and abide by the Interim Constitution, the political stalemate in the country would not end," he said.

The problem arose as the Maoists were unwilling to manage their combatants after coming to the peace process with the fear that they would become weaker, said Pokharel, who is also the government spokesman.

He also rejected the Maoists' claim that the Prime Minister had assured to tender his resignation within five days while reaching a deal to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly on May 28.

However, the Maoists have claimed that the Prime Minister had given verbal assurance to resign within five days while making the deal.

They yesterday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to him to quit, warning that the failure to implement the deal that paved the way for the extension of the parliament's term would result in a "serious crisis".

Vice chairman of UCPN-Maoist Narayankaji Shrestha said the Prime Minister's resignation should come first and the matters relating to the peace process and the drafting of the constitution can move forward side-by-side.

The Prime Minister has verbally assured to tender his resignation within five days, Shrestha claimed after a meeting between the Maoist chief Prachanda and leaders of smaller political parties.

The Maoist leaders today met with the leaders of other parties except the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to garner their support in favour of removing the Prime Minister.

The Maoists have said that they will not hold discussion on other issues unless the Prime Minister resigns.

Nepali Congress vice president Ramchandra Poudyal said Maoist chief Prachanda had assured that the issues relating to returning seized property, dissolving the paramilitary structure of the Young Communist League of the Maoists and integration of the Maoist combatants can be decided within two days while making a deal to extend the term of the CA.


First Published: Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 20:41

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