Nepal`s peace process will be concluded soon: PM

Nepal`s peace process has been stalled due to disagreement among the parties over key issues of federal structure and the form of government.

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai
on Saturday expressed the hope that Nepal`s landmark peace process
will be concluded soon, as he said his party was ready to make
compromise on issues that have led to a deadlock among the
political parties.

Bhattarai said the crucial part of the 2006 peace process
-- the integration of the former Maoist combatants -- will be
complete within a few weeks.

He appealed to the political parties to cooperate with
the Maoist-led coalition government to conclude the peace
process and promulgate a new constitution within the extended
deadline of May 27.

"The Maoist combatants will be integrated with the Nepal
Army within a few weeks as significant progress has been made
in moving forward the stalled peace process over the past 3-4
months," Bhattarai said at a programme to observe the 91st
birth anniversary of Nepali Congress leader Mahendra Narayan

Integration of the Maoist combatants is a key element
of the ongoing peace process. The major political parties
including the UCPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress had inked a deal
a couple of months ago to integrate 6,500 former Maoist
combatants into Nepal Army as part of the 2006 peace process.

Nepal`s peace process has been stalled due to
among the parties over key issues of federal structure and the
form of government in the country.

The Prime Minister said that his party is ready to work
out a compromise regarding the form of governance to be
incorporated in the constitution.

The Maoists have pushed for a elected president with full
executive powers. The main opposition Nepali Congress party
and other groups have supported a parliamentary form in which
Prime Minister is vested with executive powers with the
provision of a ceremonial president.

Bhattarai was confident that the constitution will be
promulgated within the stipulated period of May 27.

He underlined the need to have a national consensus
government with the inclusion of the opposition parties so as
to guarantee the conclusion of the peace process and drafting
of the constitution.

There is no other way than forging consensus and
collaboration among the major political parties to accomplish
the tasks related to the peace and constitution, he stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, Bijaya Gachhadar, the Deputy
Prime Minister and president of Madhesi Peoples Rights
Forum-Democratic, warned that the country may plunge into a
catastrophe if the constitution is not framed within the next
three months.

He appealed to UCPN-Maoist, the largest party in the
coalition, to be sincere in implementing the past agreements
related to the peace process.

The Maoists emerged as the single largest party following
the landmark Constituent Assembly elections in 2008.
The Assembly, which functions as the interim parliament,
was a key demand of the Maoists, but it has failed to conclude
the peace process and draft a new constitution for the
country, the twin tasks for which the House was set up.


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