Nepal Today

Saturday, December 18, 2010

SPECIAL PARLIAMENT SESSION MEETS TO ELECT NEPAL’S SUCCESSOR

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: Seven ruling parties meeting at residence of the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Saturday night asked Maoists to withdraw their demand for the election of a new government chief by a special legislative session that begins at one in the afternoon Sunday.
The parties asked UCPN (Maoist) to withdraw the demand for national consensus.
Main opposition Maoists and six other parties have also registered a resolution to amend a parliamentary procedure to begin a new process for the election of a government chief stalled since 30 June when Nepal resigned under Maoist pressure.
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav convened the special session when 187 lawmakers of the seven parties asked the head of state to call the special session.
The president has to call such a session when requested by one-quarter of legislators in the 599-member parliament but PM Nepal sulked with the presidential action.
The president prorogued the normal session 19 November to enforce a delayed annual budget through ordinance when Maoists obstructed its presentation in the legislature.
Maoists said the president on government order prorogued the legislative session without consulting non-government parties.
Ruling parties have asked issued whips to defeat Maoist moves while the main opposition has also issued whip to its lawmakers to support its two initiatives.
But UML has decided to vote against the special session called by Maoists and the candidature of NC Vice-president Ram Chadra Paudel as the party decided his candidacy is also an obstacle to national understanding.
Maoists need UML support to get the two resolutions approved; the
Maoists and six other parties don’t have majority support.
Paudel is the sole candidate in the election and he’s been claiming he hasn’t been defeated ’s in parliament even in 16 rounds of voting.
Maoists and UML could team up against him this time around.
A supreme court special bench last week ruled lawmakers present in
parliament, as in the past, can’t stay neutral during voting any longer.
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BODIES OF 18 BHUTANESE BEING FLOWN HOME SUNDAY

Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: Bodies of 18 Bhutanese killed in a cash of a Tara Air Twin Otter in Okhaldunga Wednesday are being flown home Sunday.
Forensic experts at TU Teaching Hospital Saturday identified the body and parts of all 18 Bhutanese and one Tibetan killed in the crash.
Three Nepali crew members were also killed.
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EXPLOSION IN FRONT OF LAWMAKER’S HOME

Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: An explosion was set off by unidentified group Saturday night in front of the residence of lawmaker Abbishek Praatap Shah in Krishnanagar VDC-2 in Kapilvasthu.
Shah is associated with Madeshi People’s Rights Forum.
There were no casualties or physical damage.
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TWO WOWMEN KILLED IN WILD ELEPHANT ATTACCK

Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: Wild elephants killed two persons, including a woman, at Ayodhayapuri in Madi, Chitwan.
Another woman was also injured.
Several houses were also destroyed.
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INDIAN ARMY CHIEF ARRIVES MONDAY

Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: Indian Army Chief Gen. V.K.Singh arrives Monday
for a three-day visit.
He’ll be conferred the honourary rank of general of Nepal Army by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav.
India bestows the same honour to the Nepali army chief when bilateral
ties are normal and good.
The exchange of swords by the chiefs of the two South Asian armies
indicate bilateral ties have been restored since they snapped in 2005
following royal rule.
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MEDIA GOOGLE

“We are issuing non-machine readable passports only on Sunday and will not accept applications for such passports from the date.”

(Unidentified foreign ministry official saying only MRPs will be
issued from 26 December, Republica, 19 Dec.)

‘No action can be taken against Chandhary [son-in-law of Sujata Koirala] on the basis of news stories against him.)

(Culture Minister Dr Minendra Rijal, The Kathmadu Post, 19 Dec.)


MORE DETAILS OF UML DECISION






Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: The fifth central committee meeting of the CPN-UML concluded Saturday by approving the names of its departmental members proposed by previous politburo meetings, The Rising Nepal reports.
The central meeting of the party that was postponed several times in the past lasted for five months until it concluded Saturday.
The latest meeting was protracted for five days.
The name lists of 18 members were proposed and confirmed after the coordination committee certified their names from various zones by completing all necessary processes.
Today’s meeting unanimously approved the directives of Central Party School Department, Contact Coordination Committees, and working procedure for party members based abroad.
Similarly, the meeting also approved the proposals on peace and constitution submitted during the politburo meeting.
It scheduled the sixth central committee meeting for 9 January to discuss the topics fixed by politburo meeting, said publicity department chief of the party Pradeep Gyawali.
The meeting also agreed to review minimum pays and perks of the labours in every two years.
The meeting was chaired by party chairman Jhala Nath Khanal.

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BAHATTARAI CAMP SHOCKED BY CC DECISION

Kathmandu, 19 Dec.: It was something unexpected for Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai when his party decided on Friday to adopt the tactical line of “people´s revolt” and officially declare India the “principal enemy,” Post B Basnet writes in Republica.

According to party sources, Bhattarai had requested Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to hold more talks to narrow down intra-party differences before holding the Central Committee (CC) meeting Friday.

And when the CC meeting was held on Friday, Bhattarai had not expected that the chairman would declare the party´s official decisions all of a sudden and wrap up the meeting.

“In fact the decision was unexpected to most CC members, not only to the Bhattarai faction. Most CC members hoped the party would hold more discussions to find common ground as far as possible,” said a senior Maoist leader.

With the backing of the party´s hard-line faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, Chairman Dahal got his document endorsed by the CC on Friday, while Bhattarai said he seriously objected to the spirit of the chairman´s document.

“Friday´s CC meeting came as a complete surprise also because nobody had thought any politician of that caliber and understanding would take such decisions,” said a leader close to Bhattarai.

Dahal and Baidya have gone through many ups and downs in the last three decades, and Dahal has now finally embraced the political line of Baidya for the first time after the Chunwang meeting in 2005.

In his document, Dahal stated that the party should push for the constitution of a “People´s Federal Democratic Republic”, while simultaneously preparing the ground for an immediate revolt. And as per the party´s scheme, the revolt is likely to take place around the constitution-drafting deadline of May 28.

Dahal also declared the “fusion of domestic reactionaries and India expansionism” the party´s principal enemy, something that Bhattarai seriously objects to. The Maoist party vice-chairman has argued that the party should declare “domestic reactionaries” alone as the principal enemy at this juncture of history. Party insiders say Dahal decided to declare India the principal enemy for its playing a part in his not becoming prime minister.

On Saturday, leaders of the Bhattarai faction met to chart their course of action in light of the CC decision.

“We have decided to register not only a note of dissent, but a whole political document outlining the model of revolution in Nepal. History will show who is right,” said a leader close to Bhattarai.

Bhattarai faction leaders have however stated that they would follow the party principle of “diversity in thought and unity in work” and sincerely perform the responsibilities handed them by the party.

As per the decision, the party is not likely to let Bhattarai write about his political philosophy independently outside the party´s publications. “The party has decided to set up a certain mechanism and bring out a publication to hold debates on ideological and tactical issues. So, the party may not allow him to write independently,” said a leader close to Dahal. But the Bhattarai faction has opposed the decision. "It is a measure to stiffle dissent," said a leader close to Bhattarai.

Leaders close to the Baidya faction said the alliance between Baidya and Dahal became possible after the latter turned ready to incorporate most of the views put forward by Baidya.

Dahal and Baidya mainly agreed on three issues: 1) principal contradiction; 2) launching a people´s revolt on the foundation of the “people´s war”; 3) sharing more organizational positions of the “party, army and political front”, three organs of the Maoist movement, with the Baidya faction.

“The chairman and Vice-chairman Baidya shared many things in common, so it is natural for Baidya to support the chairman,” said Maoist leader Khadga Bahadur Vishwokarma from the Baidya camp.

With the latest party decision, the intra-party power balance will tilt more toward the Baidya faction.

Though Maoists have stated that the party would launch a revolt only if the constitution-drafting process falls prey to conspiracy, the decision will severely reduce the party´s bargaining power on the issue of government formation.

It will show that the party is not flexible enough in constitution-drafting and integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants, and prompt the formation of a stronger anti-Maoist coalition. And this means the Maoists are likely to face further isolation. Besides, other political actors had understood that the Maoist party would be flexible when Dahal was with Bhattarai, and after his new alliance with Baidya, Dahal will certainly lose that advantage.




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