Nepal Today

Friday, February 22, 2008

Alternation in election schedule condemned

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: Dr Prakash Chandra Lohini, vice-chairman of conservative Rashtriya Jasakti Party (RJP), it’s not for the Election Commission how to handle political parties that didn’t file nominations of candidates within a deadline.
The Commission , at government, request, gave parties an opportunity that didn’t meet Wednesday’s deadline to file a closed list of candidates under proportional representation Saturday.
“It’s not for the Commission to scrutinize which parties filed or didn’t file nominations.
‘The commission is like a shopkeeper who has opened a shop. Their work is to regisr applications,” Dr Lohini said.
“More than 10 million people are on protests and they aren’t participating in elections. It isn’t in the country's interest to force elections,” he said.
CPN (United Marxist) Thursday objected to the government change in election programme announced earlier by the Election Commission.
The party charged the commission for fooling around with the schedule.
Even after a deadline expired Wednesday, Election Commission on government request gave political parties time Saturday to submit a list of closed candidates for elections under proportional representation for constituent assembly 10 April.

Alternate national culture

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: Former prime minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, by organizing a a party on his 84th birthday Thursday, has given the country an alternate leadership and laid the foundation stone for an alternate political culture, Samya reports.
This was the message of the birthday bash.
Bhattarai, 84, prepared a list of invitees for the party giving priority to his political beliefs and human values.
He openly challenged the politics of boycott.
King Gyanendra was the first to arrive at the Himalaya Hotel at 11.30 in the morning. Present and former prime ministers, speakers and chiefs of diplomatic missions were present.
‘This is the beginning of reconciliation,” former speaker Daman Nath Dhungana said.
Dhungana lately favours reconciliation between the king, as a traditional force, Maoists, democratic forces and terai groups.
Congress leader Chankra Prasad Bastola went to greet Bhattarai one day earlier at Bhaisipati and said he was about quit Congress son after concluding he couldn’t work with the prime minister, Deuba and Sushil.
CPN-UMLl and Maoists boycotted the Bhaisipati reception even though they were invited.
Prime Minister Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba went to greet Bhattarai together at Bhaisipati.

Nepalese embassy being repaired, not sold

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: The Nepalese embassy in London is being repaired, not sold, Samya reports.
A foreign ministry team headed Suresh Pradhan made the recommendation.
Officials of the Crown Estate put a condition it should that it should have a right to choose a buyer if Nepal government was putting the property up for sale.

10 April election almost impossible with talks failure (BREAKING NEWS)

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: The 10 April constituent assembly election is now virtually impossible for the third time in 10 months with Friday’s deadlock in negotiations between the government and three-party terai front demanding self-determination and provincial rule.
Government negotiators headed by peace minister Ram Chandra Paudel rejected the demand for ‘one Madesh, one pradesh’, Jhalananath Khanal of the CPN-UMP and government negotiating team said after the failed talks Friday evening.
The talks were the second in two days.

"We couldn’t accept the demand of one Madesh, one pradesh.The talks ended in a deadlock. They have not been utilized an opportunity to hold elections with the addition of one more day to submit a list of closed candidates," an angry Khanal said." They want to spoil elections."
Khanal said,” We were ready to concede five demands. Even they cannot put the demand for one Madesh, one pradesh which is for the constituent assembly to decide,” Khanal said.
It was not clear and very unlikely the two sides will pick up pieces of the broken down talks.
The closed list under proportional representation for 335 members of the constituent assembly has to be submitted on Sunday.
An agreement is unlikely tomorrow Saturday.
Talks between government three teri parties, who didn’t submit a closed list Wednesday, were held after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Chairman Prachanda first met to try and attempt forge a common concept.

Strike enters 10th day

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: A crippling and violent strike of a front of three terai parties pushing six demands, including self-determination and provincial rule, entered its 10th day Friday.
Nearly to dozen policemen and demonstrators were injured in the holy city of Janakpur which demonstrators tried to overrun.
New night curfew was imposed in parts of Saptari amid reports armed elements were trying to overrun parts of the district, radio reports said.
Front activists attacked a helicopter carrying election materials soon after it landed in Gaur where more than two dozen demonstrators were injured in clashes with police Friday.
Curfew continues in many towns along the border with India.
Angry people facing shortages of essential goods hijacked four full petrol tankers in Chitwan and four others were torched in Bara.
Shortages of kerosene, gas, water, diesel and load-shedding is getting unbearable.
It appears aging and seriously Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, 84, will have to eat his words to conduct polls again.
India’s attempt to force elections has apparently failed.
Maoists and another communist constituent of the ruling seven-party alliance protested a Nepali Congress attempt by Koirala’s party to unilaterally negotiate a separate agreement with the front inside the Indian embassy premises this week with Indian mediation.
The talks between government and Madesh leaders ended in a deadlock as donors at a two-day meeting in the capital pushed elections with feeble promises to help.
The only alternative, if a breakthrough is not reached Saturday/Sunday, is to force elections with Army help as threatened by some ministers including Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat.
It’s unlikely government can use the option.
A strike in the Limbuwan region has also hit nine hill districts of the eastern region with threats by Chure Bhavar to disturb assembly polls if held without annulling nearly 2.4 million citizenship certificates distributed to people of terai origin after April 2006.

Former minister Narayan Singh Pun dead

Kathmandu, 22 Feb: Former minister and chairman of Samata Party Narayan Singh Pun, 59, died Thursday in New Delhi.
He died of complications after a kidney transplant.
Pun made a fortune by launching a helicopter service.
He founded Karnali Airways after resigning from the Royal Nepal Army as a Lt Col in the air wing.
Pun was expelled from Nepali Congress after he joined the royal government as minister.
He was first elected to parliament on a Nepali Congress ticket from Myagdhi in 1999.
Pun was minister in a government headed by Lokendra Bahadur Chand formed after the dismissal of the government of Sher Bahadur Deuba by King Gyanendra for ineptitude to hold elections six months after dissolving parliament.
Pun, with links to Maoist military leader Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’,helped to bring the CPN (Maoist) to the negotiating table; Pun was also a member of the government negotiating tream.
Pun graduated from Britain’s Sandhurst Military Academy. During failed peace, he made a controversial recommendation to restrict army to barracks while giving Maoists free movement across the country.


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