‘Nepal PM will quit if peace guaranteed’

Madhav Kumar Nepal is ready to step down if peace and constitution drafting are guaranteed by the former rebels.

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.


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