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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