Nepal Today

Friday, April 18, 2008

Maoists won’t get majority in CA; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 17 April: A majority will elude the Maoists in the 601-member constituent assembly although they will get clear majority of the directly elected seats.
CPN (Maoist) have bagged 119 seats and require only two more to collect a majority of the directly seats in the assembly as vote counting progresses.
A majority will elude Maoists as they have gathered only 32 percent votes in 100 constituencies where counting has been completed in in direct elections; this trend is likely to continue. Congress and CPN-UML trail behind in second and third positions.
In direct elections were held for another 335 seats in the assembly;
Maoists can’t collect a combined strength of 301 seats in the CA.
Uncertainty reigns in Nepali politics after the 10 April vote.
Nepali Congress Thursday didn’t follow CPN-UML in quitting the lame-duck government of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.
The party’s central committee meeting one week later on 24 April will decide whether to join a Maoist-led government or not.
An informal party central committee meeting Thursday decided to continue in government and asked district units to submit a report by Tuesday on the reasons for the party’s election debacle.
Amid uncertain politics peace prevails.
KING
Dr Baburam Bhattarai said the first CA meeting will implement a parliamentary decision for a democratic federal republic.
“Monarchy will end after a republic is enforced,” the second Maoist leader said.
Bhattarai ruled out voting on monarchy in the CA.
“A decision has already been taken; it has to be implemented,” Bhattarai added.
Chairman Prachanda attempted to calm the fears of the business community as stock prices tumbled for the second day with the victory of the Maoists at the polls at the cost of Nepali Congress.
"Our policy is to prioritize domestic investment and at the same time attract foreign investment. We will make an environment that ensures both an environment for investment and profit," Prachanda said.
MADESH
Upendra Yadav, leader of the Madesh Janatantrik Forum, has warned the ruling seven parties any attempt by them to isolate or ignore the largest political party in the south pushing regional demands will be counterproductive.
Even before the election, seven parties had included a provision in the constitution a government of the seven parties should continue even after election—reflecting their dictatorial tendencies to impose themselves on the people.
He said people conceiving of trying to rule by isolating Forum are only day-dreaming; he was obviously hinting at Maoists from whom Yadav disassociate himself to join regional politics.
Any future government cannot ignore the Tarai Madesh Loktantrik party (TMLP) and the NSP (Mahoto) elected to the assembly with more than 30 combined seats in the assembly.
They are not represented in the government; members of the TMLP and NSP quit or were ousted form the Koirala government.
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Congress sets conditions for pre-conditions to cooperate with Maoists
By Bhola B Rana
Kathmandu, 18 April: Humiliatingly defeated by Maoists in CA polls, Nepali Congress Friday set pre-conditions for future cooperation with the CPN (Maoist).
Maoist Chairman Prachanda sought cooperation for a smooth hand-over and cooperation in drafting a constitution and government formation at a meeting with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala Friday—the second meeting in two days.
Congress sought return of seized assets and creation for an environment for such cooperation, party sources said.
But PM Koirala’s Congress went to the polls even before Maoists met the Congress pre-condition for the return of seized assets before the 10 April assembly polls.
Maoists have won the vote and continue to hold the seized assets.
Meanwhile, Peace Minister and top Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel told Kantipur his party has opted to continue in office until the formation of a new government to prevent a political crisis.
‘The central committee decided the prime minister who is also the officiating head of state has to hand-over power to the next government ," Kantipur quoted Paudel as saying.
Former CPM-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, who quit after his party’s defeat in elections, told Prachanda Thursday YCL must be disbanded before the party can join a Maoist government.
Nepal Thursday rejected Prachanda’s request to rejoin the government.
Meanwhile, violence continues in the tarai even after elections.
Defeated RPP-Nepal candidate Rudra P Singh was shot dead in Nawalparasi Friday.
The body of van driver Rajesh KC was found in Kapilvastu overnight.
A group abducted KC along with his van several days ago.
US, MAOISTS
CPI(Marxist) has asked the federal government in New Delhi government to to disassociate itself with the US ‘negative’ stand against Nepal’s Maoists.
"The government should now make it clear that it has nothing in common with the negative and hostile stand taken by the US which treats the Maoists as a terrorist organization," a statement said Thursday.
The party asked the government to work with Nepal’s Maoists.
India and USA, coordinating policy, had banked on a victory of Congress and the CPN-UML to isolate the Maoists in Nepal; they face an enigma.
They initially welcomed the election but have been fuzzy after the Maoist victory.
Times of India, which is close to the establishment in New Delhi, even has called the Koirala government ‘lacking in legitimacy’ as India attempts to find a formula to work with a Maoist-led government.
Washington and New Delhi will have to deal with such a government for nearly three years when parliamentary elections should be held after constitution drafting deadline.
The margin of Maoist victory is so big , the former rebels cannot be toppled and international observers have already certified the election and free and fair.
If monarchy is toppled, there will be no check and balance in Nepali politics.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, the likely successor of premier Koirala, has already said it’s up to Maoists to decide whether to get rid of monarchy through an assembly decision.
The election result has given monarchy a big change.
Maoists will be closer to a complete takeover in the Himalayan kingdom with the declaration of a republic.
Congress alone cannot stop Maoists.
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Tibetan refugees resume daily protests

Kathmandu, 18 April: Tibetan refugees have resumed their anti-China protests in the Nepalese capital and the resort town of Pokhara after the 110 April elections.
They held protests in front of the Chinese embassy Wednesday and Thursday an indications are the protests will continue.
The protests will be a headache for Maoists waiting to form a government.
Maoists have now replaced the Nepali Congress at the biggest legitimate political force in Nepal through elections, thanks to the short-sighted policy trying to smashing ‘democracy and the constitution’ to under in another ‘democracy and constitution’.
This process will be unending now.
The assembly won’t seal a final constitution for Nepal which has had, on an average, one constitution very 10 years.
So-called democrats shred the last constitution drafted by representatives of parties who are supposed to be representatives of the people.
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