Nepal Today

Saturday, June 1, 2013

SLC RESULTS AFTER 15 JUNEI Kathmandu, 2 June: Results of this year’s SLC examinations will be announced in the first week of Ashad [ after 15 June], aan official of the Controller of Examinations said. Results will be announced if technical hitches aren’t encountered. Altogether 570,000 plus students appeared in this year’s examinations. nnnn PREPARATIONS AFOOT FOR SAARC SUMMIT Kathmandu, 2 June: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has begun preparatory meetings to host the 18th Saarc Summit in Kathmandu in the first quarter of 2014. A first in-house meeting of the MoFA this week emphasised that more elaborative meetings should be conducted with other relevant government stakeholders, The Kathmandu Post writes. Although the Maldives, the previous host of the 17th Saarc Summit, is yet to propose the date of Saarc Inter-Summit—a body of Saarc foreign ministers tasked to fix the date—it is certain that Nepal’s chance to host the summit by this year is almost nil, said officials at the MoFA and the Saarc Secretariat. During a press meet at the MoFA earlier this month, the ministry’s Spokesperson Arjun Bahadur Thapa had said that at least a nine-month period is required for preparations. “We are preparing to announce a suitable date to convene the summit but have not arrived at any conclusion yet. We have already started meetings and planning more discussions with other government stakeholders in near future,” Thapa said. During the MoFA’s in-house meeting, officials suggested that the summit is possible only in the first quarter of 2014 due to the Constituent Assembly elections. Though the technical part of the summit is managed by the MoFA and other government agencies, the authorities concerned are yet to get a political commitment from major political parties to organise the summit. As a preparation for the summit, condition of road in Kathmandu valley is to be improved for the hassle-free movement of regional VVIPs. Other logistics like vehicles, security arrangement, venue, media centre and administrative work also remain constraints for the officials. Although Nepal has experience of holding such summits in the past, many officials who were involved in organising previous summits have already retired. Besides the summit, Nepal is also gearing up to host the Saarc Home Ministers’ meeting likely in September. “As we have many works to do, it is too early to predict when the summit will be held,” Thapa said. In addition to hosting the summit, Nepal should also name the next Saarc secretary general during the inter-summit. Nnnn GOVT., OPPOSITION TALKS ON ELECTION PARTICIPATION INCONCLUSIVE Kathmandu, 2 June: Despite several rounds of formal and informal talks , the government and the four political forces have failed to bridge the gap with poll-opposing parties, primarily the CPN-Maoist and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal (MJF-N) led by Upendra Yadav, Kamal Deb Bhattarai writes in The Kathmandu Post.. According to leaders from both the sides, chances of an agreement in the near future appear slim as the government and major parties are not in a mood to address the ‘tough’ demands made by the smaller parties. The Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has refused to hold formal talks with the government and the High-level Political Committee (HLPC), but it is holding informal talks with major parties at various levels. While the CPN-Maoist did not register itself at the Election Commission (EC) for the planned Constituent Assembly elections, sending across a message that it will not be part of the polls, the MJF-Nepal got itself registered, but has set certain pre-conditions to participating in the polls. The CPN-M has demanded the dissolution of the HLPC and the Khil Raj Regmi-led interim government, while the MJF-Nepal wants Regmi’s resignation as the chief justice. Major parties are, however, optimistic that the poll-opposing parties will come on to the election track once the date for the elections is announced. “Talks are under way with these parties. Once the poll date is announced, the parties will be part of the election process,” NC leader Ram Saran Mahat told the Post. However, leaders from the CPN-Maoist and MJF-Nepal rule out such a possibility, saying that they will not contest the polls under the current circumstances. “It is meaningless to hold the next CA elections under the current circumstances. The HLPC should be dissolved and Regmi should resign as chief justice,” MJF-Nepal Chairman Yadav told the Post. He said there should be an agreement among the parties on the basic principles of the new constitution before the talks are held. There are divergent views in the Nepali Congress (NC) and the UCPN (Maoist) on addressing the demands of the poll-opposing parties. NC President Sushil Koirala is in favour of bringing the Baidya party in the HLPC, while Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel argues that the parties should not wait for the CPN-Maoist as chances of striking a deal with it are less. In the UCPN (Maoist), Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai do not seem keen on bringing the Baidya party into the poll process, while Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha argues that the party should be flexible in addressing the demands of the CPN-Maoist. Shrestha has been saying that the parties should demand Regmi’s resignation as chief justice if it helps bring Baidya on board. The Koirala faction of the NC and the Shrestha faction in the UCPN (Maoist) still believe that if Regmi resigns as the chief justice, the CPN-Maoist and MJF-Nepal will take part in the elections. However, CPN-Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said there is no possibility of her party taking part in the elections under the Regmi government. The government is also reaching out to other poll-opposing parties, but with little success. “We are continuously holding informal talks with the CPN-Maoist and talks are heading towards a positive direction,” claimed Home Minister and coordinator of the government’s talks team Madhav Prasad Ghimire. nnnn


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