Nepali Congress blames Maoists for deadlock in peace process
Last Updated: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 01:04
  
Kathmandu: Nepali Congress, the second largest party in the country, asked the main opposition Maoists to stop its violent activities and create an environment of trust to rescue Nepal's stalled peace process.

Nepali Congress, which kick-started its five-day convention to elect a successor to late party president G P Koirala on Friday, asked the Maoists to stop its violent activities, extortion, intimidation and threat and create an environment of trust.

It also asked the former rebels to return property seized during the insurgency to its rightful owners and to dismantle the paramilitary structure of its youth wing, Young Communist League.

Presenting the party's report, general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi, asked the Maoists to expedite the process of integration and rehabilitation of the former Maoist guerrillas by fixing maximum limit on the number of combatants to be integrated into the security forces.

The Maoist leaders should be provided only government security and by ending the double security arrangements made to them, Nidhi pointed out.

The arms confined in the cantonments under the UN’s observation should be handed over to the government, said the Nepali Congress report to 12th general convention being held in the capital to find a successor to the five-time prime minister, who was instrumental in ending the decade-long insurgency in 2006 and bringing the Maoists to mainstream politics.

The Maoist combatants should be immediately brought under the control of the Special Committee formed by the government, the party said, adding the former rebels should update the information about the current status of the former guerrilla force confined in the UN-monitored cantonments.

Blaming the Maoists for not being sincere about drafting a democratic constitution and to establish lasting peace in the country, it asked them to implement the past agreements and understandings relating to the peace process.

The Nepali Congress also expressed concern that the Maoists have been pursuing the culture of buy and sell of lawmakers and using the language of threat as a means of politics.

Nepali Congress acting president Sushil Koirala and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba are the main contenders for the post of president which fell vacant following Koirala's death on March 20 aged 85.

The Nepali Congress convention comes amid a political deadlock in the country that is threatening the fragile peace process. Political parties have failed in a series of attempts to elect a new Prime Minister, more that two months after Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned from the top post on June 30.

In a new twist to Nepal's prolonged and deadlocked prime ministerial election, Maoist chief Prachanda yesterday withdrew from the race after a deal with the largest communist party, paving the way for the formation of a national consensus government.

Nearly three months after the 22-party coalition led by Nepal collapsed, seven rounds of poll failed to elect a new leader, with both Prachanda and 65-year-old R C Poudyal unable to get majority support of the lawmakers in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

55-year-old former prime minister Prachanda and CPN-UML president Jhala Nath Khanal yesterday reached a deal that the Maoists would withdraw from the Prime Ministerial race and both the parties would not take part in the next round of election for the post on September 26.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly, while Nepali Congress has 114 members in the House whose two-year term was extended by one year on May 28.

The CPN-UML with the strength of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combine strength of 82 and other smaller parties have called for a national government and remained neutral.

The Maoists led by Prachanda won the 2008 elections and formed a government, but it later collapsed after a dispute with President Ram Baran Yadav over their attempt to replace the then army chief Rukmangad Katwal.

The present deadlock has led to charges of horse trading, with a television channel earlier this month playing a taped phone conversation, purportedly between Maoist top leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara and an unidentified male caller, in which Mahara allegedly sought Rs 50 crore to 'buy' the votes of 50 lawmakers from the Terai-based parties for Prachanda.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 01:04


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