Nepal Maoists hindering peace process, says minister
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 20:32
Kathmandu: A top minister from Nepal's Terai plains bordering India on Sunday blamed the Maoists for the delay in drafting of a new constitution amid efforts by the former rebels to destabilise the coalition government.

Nepal's Commerce Minister Rajendra Mahato, President of the Terai-based Sadbhavana Party, dismissed the Maoists allegations that the CPN-UML led government was obstructing the drafting of the constitution.

The Maoists have not been acting in a responsible manner which has, in fact, been delaying the process of drafting the constitution, Mahato said.

"It is the Maoists, not the government, which is obstructing the peace process and the process of drafting the constitution," he said.

Talking to PTI, he asked the Maoists to behave like a responsible civilian party instead of a militant outfit.

The political leaders are struggling to meet a May 28 deadline to finish the drafting of a new constitution as stipulated by the peace process that brought the civil war to an end in 2006.

Disagreements persist on such fundamental issues as the structure of the national government and the creation of federal states.

Earlier, Maoist hardline leader Mohan Vaidya had accused the 22-party coalition of obstructing the peace process.

Vaidya, vice president of the Unified CPN-Maoist, demanded that a Maoist-led national unity government must be formed to draft the constitution.

He also claimed the leadership of the High-Level Political Mechanism formed to supervise the peace process and earlier headed by late prime minister G P Koirala.

The three-member body has Maoist chief Prachanda and CPN-UML president Jhalanath Khanal as members.

Vaidya said that the task of drafting the constitution and integrating the former Maoist combatants should take place simultaneously.

The Maoists plan to hold a massive rally on April 6 in the capital to destabilise the coalition.


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 20:32

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