Nepal Today

Saturday, February 20, 2010

PM Nepal, Girija discuss constitution drafting, integration

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 21 Feb.: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and NC President Girija Prasad Koirala Sunday discussed integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and drafting a constitution within the 28 May deadline amid fears the basic law won’t be promulgated within the deadline.
“Maoists are obstructing integration, Raghuji “political advisor of the prime minister said after the meet.
They met as the high-level political mechanism (JLPM) of which the prime minister is an invited member, was to meet Sunday.
Maoists demanded a government change at the last meeting last week to end a prolonged political stalemate.
Nepal met Koirala Sunday after demanding a recount of Maoist combatants in 28 cantonments and satellite camps saying the PLA fighters had deserted even as they are watched by UNMIN.
“Verification of combatants should again be held because many weren’t present at the official discharge [of disqualified combatants,” Nepal told a gathering in Pokhara Saturday
UNMIN has verified 19,550 combatants.
Amid Maoist objections, Peace Minister Rakam Chenjung said government will henceforce issue personal cheques as allowances and monthly salary to prevent misuse by the UCPN (Maoist)..
“The party cannot be funded by issuing allowances to fighters not at the camps,” Nepal said in Pokhara.

Raghiji Pant says constitution won’t be drafted in within deadline, calls for fresh CA elections

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 21 Feb.: Raghuji Pant, the political advisor of the prime m minister, said Friday a constitution won’t be drafted within the 28 May deadline and called for fresh constituent assembly (CA) elections to end a political crisis.
Pant said this Saturday at the UML central committee meeting where Chairman Jhalanath Khanal didn’t present a solution to the prolonged crisis, he said.
Pant’s suggestion was widely reported in newspapers Sunday.
“It’s definite a constitution won’t be promulgated within the deadline. Maoists don’t want to draft a constitution and integrate the combatants. There’s no other alternative. That’s why I drew the party’s attention [to hold fresh elections].” Pant said.
Pant suggested a joint front of democrats and left parties to defeat Maoists in fresh elections.
“For an outlet, in elections there should be a left and democratic UML, Congress, Forum, ML and Majdoor Kishan Party in elections,” he said.
Constitutional experts say only the president will continue while government, CA and parliament will go if a constitution isn’t promulgated in the end of May.
The constitution was to be promulgated two years after CA elections and Maoist combatants were to be integrated six months after the signing of the 12-point comprehensive agreement six years ago.
While Pant charge Maoists for not showing eagerness to draft a basic law, the main opposition blames the ruling parties.
Pant is not the first politician to call for fresh CA elections to give a fresh mandate to new assembly members to draft a constitution to institutionalize a republic.
Former Speaker Damannath Dhungana and RPP Nepal Chairman have asked for fresh elections if a constitution isn’t promulgated within the deadline.
Dhungana said amending the interim constitution for the 8th time to retain parliament and CA isn’t a solution to the current political crisis.

Govt, confirms India has resumes arms supplies

Kathmandu, 21 Feb.: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Home Minister Bhim Rawal confirmed Saturday, amid Maoist objections, India has resumed army supplies suspended five years ago during royal rule.
‘They should have arrived sooner. There was a delay,” Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said in Pokhara Saturday.
Armed Police Force (APF) Saturday forcibly freed three vehicles seized by Maoists on the Prithivi Highway and escorted them to the MFP headquarters in the Valley.
Maoists said the arms were brought in through Sunauli against the spirit of the 12-point comprehensive peace agreement.
Maoists said explosives and arms were supplied to Nepal Army—a charge also denied by Nepal and Rawal.
“Only authorized agencies have the authority to inspect non-lethal weapons, “ the home minister said as Maoists invited UMNIN and human rights workers to inspect contents of the vehicles.
Two persons, including a Maoist legislator, were injured in clashes between APF and YCL who seized the vehicles.
‘The peace agreement doesn’t debar security agencies to bring in weapons.” Rawal said.
Nepal said provisions for the import of weapons in the peace agreement apply only to Nepal Army and not police.

Indian Naxalite leader charged for meeting Prachanda

Kathmandu, 21 Feb.: Indian Maoist leader Kobad Ghandi, who was arrested by Delhi police Ashoj [Sept./Oct], has been charged for meeting Maoist Chairman Prachanda, Nagarik reports quoting The Asian Age.
In a 700-page charge-sheet Friday Gandhi leading a banned party has been charged for meeting Prachanda in foreign soil to discuss extension of the party network.
The report said the meeting place in Nepal.


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