Massive anti-govt rally demands Nepal PM's resignation
Kathmandu: A massive anti-government rally organised by Nepal's 22 opposition parties on Friday demanded Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai's resignation, while accusing him of opposing inclusive democracy and trying to establish "totalitarian rule" in the country.
Leaders of National Democratic Campaign, an alliance of 22 political parties including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, while addressing the rally held the Maoist leaders responsible for dissolving the Constituent Assembly (CA), which they said, was the result of six-decade-long struggle of the Nepalese people to write their constitution.
They accused Bhattarai's Maoist-led government of declaring election for another CA on November 22 in an unconstitutional manner, with the intention to capture power.
Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala and Vice President Ramchandra Poudyal were other prominent leaders in the public meeting which was attended by tens of thousands of people.
The Maoists entered into the game of power capture through unconstitutional way, Poudyal said.
"The Maoists want to establish totalitarian rule and they were always opposed to inclusive democracy, pluralism and Parliamentary system," he said.
Five former prime ministers and top leaders of various political parties came down heavily on Bhattarai, asking him to quit power and to pave way for forming a national consensus government and help in resolving the current political stalemate.
Former prime ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba from Nepali Congress, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal from CPN-UML, Surya Bahadur Thapa from Rastriya Janashakti Party and Lokendra Bahadur Chanda from Rastriya Prajatantra Party, alleged that the real intention of the Maoists was to capture power and not to frame the constitution by May 27 deadline.
"The Maoists' unconstitutional way of announcing election
was aimed at capturing power and impose totalitarian rule by rigging the election by using their militant cadres, weapons and government machinery to garner two third majority, as claimed by Prachanda, which we would never allow," Rastriya Prajatantra Party president Pashupati Shumsher Rana said.
NC general secretary Prakash Man Singh said that they will not participate in the election announced by Prime Minister Bhattarai "through unconstitutional way as they boycotted the local level elections conducted under the direct rule of then King Gyanendra in 2005."
Devendra Mishra, general secretary of Sadbhawana Party- Anandidevi, said: "the few Madhesi parties who are currently with the Maoists' ruling alliance will soon come with the democratic campaign of the opposition, as Madhesis can never be communists."
He warned the Maoists not to attack democracy by putting guns on the shoulders of the Madhesis.
At the meeting, NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba floated the idea of reinstating the 601-member Constituent Assembly for a certain time and resolving the remaining contentious issues to draft the constitution through consensus.
"At the time when the Maoists had dissolved the Constituent Assembly most of the contentious issues were resolved except the number of federal states and their names.
"The Prime Minister should step down for paving way to resolve the political crisis as he failed to deliver constitution within stipulated time frame," Deuba said.
"The Maoists were trying to make a communist model of constitution by capturing ?power, not a democratic one", said UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Maoists plan to hold fresh election by dissolving the Constituent Assembly was against the political consensus and undemocratic.
"The Maoists wanted to create a constitutional crisis to capture power", said senior UML leader K P Oli.
He asked the Maoists to come to an understanding with other political parties to resolve the current stalemate.