Nepal Today

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Kathmandu, 4 Aug.” This year’s SLC supplementary examinations started Sunday.
Altogether 111.000 students who didn’t pass in all subjects have been given an opportunity to peear in subjects in which they failed.
The examinations last until 11 August.
Kathmandu, 4 Aug.: A wild elephant killed Upendra Mahoto and his child at Haripur in Sarlahi overnight while asleep at their house.
Four persons have been killed in the central terai district by tuskers
 in one month.
"Nepal will never see the another CA election if it is not held on November 19."
(Baburam Bhattarai in The Kathmandu Post, 4 Aug.)

The election day is fast approaching. Major political forces have already launched their electoral campaigns across the country, but some parties are refusing to join the election process. The CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the UCPN (Maoist), has already unveiled a campaign to disrupt the Constituent Assembly election. The knotty issue of constituency delineation has not made any headway. UCPN (M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is currently taking the helm of the High-level Political Committee (HLPC), formed to guide the government on policy issues. Mukul Humagain and Kamal Dev Bhattarai spoke to Dahal about several burning issues such as constituency delimitation, political crisis and the CA election. Excerpts:
There are still some doubts about the November 19 poll. What is your reading?
The CA election will be held on November 19 at any cost. There is no reason to doubt about it. The poll-opposing parties except the CPN-Maoist will join the election process. The HLPC is working to bring them on board. The poll is only outlet for ending the present political deadlock. Once the whole country slips into election mood, the CPN-Maoist will be under pressure to take part in the election. The poll will take place as scheduled even if the CPN-M stays away. There is no alternative to the election.
But the CPN-Maoist along with other forces is threatening to disrupt the election.
They (Baidya) cannot disrupt the poll because it is not a normal and regular parliamentary election. It is the election for the CA that will draft a new constitution. The CA election is the only platform, wherein all the parties can go to the people with their agendas. Baidyaji has no political, legal and moral grounds to disrupt and boycott the election. More than 13,000 people have sacrificed their life to establish the agenda of the CA. If Baidya resorts to violence, his rank and file would not agree to it.
There are reports that the Baidya party is forging an alliance with the former king. Would it hamper the election process?

Such things would not foil the election. If Baidyaji forges an alliance with the former king, it would be unfortunate for the country. When King Birendra was alive, we discussed about a possible alliance with monarchy inside our party. We were of the view that if an alliance with monarchy helps safeguard nationalism and hold the CA election, such a tie-up would be possible. But after the royal massacre and Gyanendra’s ascend to power, we gave up such a policy. At that time our party had concluded that if an understanding with monarchy could lead a country towards the CA election, we could give a space to monarchy in the political set-up.
The present situation is totally different and viewing royal forces as a nationalist force is just an illusion. The issue of nationalism raised by the Baidya party is illogical. Only the election can preserve true nationalism.
It is said the UCPN (Maoist) wants to keep the CPN-M out of the election process. Is it true?
I have a firm view that for the successful completion of peace and constitution writing processes, the CPN-Maoist should take part in the election. On the issue of federalism and social and political agendas, the two parties have approximately the same view. So I have urged them to join the election process. If the CPN-Maoist comes on board, there is a possibility of an electoral alliance between the two parties. Party unification is not possible right now, but we can make an electoral alliance with Baidyaji.
Your party has just started a nationwide campaign to gauge party’s position. So it seems that the UCPN (Maoist) is not fully prepared for the election.
We have launched the campaign to make cordial relations with the general public. One of its purpose is to evaluate the party’s position. Whatever the result comes from the field, we will go to the election. The ground report would not affect the party’s position on the election.
Are there chances of an electoral alliances with the Madhes-based parties?
The electoral alliance with the Madhes-based parties is a difficult one. Though there will not be an electoral alliance as such, seats can be adjusted in certain constituencies.
Any possibility of an electoral alliance with the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML?
I do not see such a possibility now.
The parties are at loggerheads over the constituency delimitation issue. Don’t you think the disputes will affect the election?
The issue of constituency delimitation is a complicated one. The Constituency Delimitation Commission has kept us in the picture about the difficulties. There are constitutional as well as practical difficulties and we are trying to reach a conclusion.
There have been attempts to increase the CA size to woo the poll-opposing parties. What is the reality?
We have agreed on a 491-member CA. Efforts are being made to convince the other parties on the same size. But Upendra Yadav, Ashok Rai and other fringe parties are demanding more seats under proportional category. If all the parties agree to join the election process, the HLPC is flexible to increase the seats. I do not think we will retain the 601 seats. We are ready to adopt flexibility to increase seats from 491.
What are the possible security threats to the CA election?
There are some forces in the society who want to disrupt the election process. Some of them might attack candidates in the election. Therefore, the government, parties, and people should be careful of anti-election activities.
Let’s talk about the rift affecting your party. Have you resolved the disputes?
Disputes in the largest party like the UCPN (Maoist) are a normal one. Disputes will remain as long as the party exists. When disputes emerge inside the party, we move ahead resolving such disputes. It does not mean that disputes will not emerge again when it is settled for one time.
Why Baburam Bhattarai resigned as vice-chairman, inviting a new dispute inside the party?
No, Baburam’s resignation did not create a new scenario (centralisation of power) in the party. The circumstances that led Bhattarai to step down are responsible for such a scenario. Our office bearer team prepared a proposal regarding appointments inside the party and presented it at a party meet. But on the first day of the meeting, 29 leaders, out of 31, criticised the proposal. At the same time, Baburamji resigned without any consultation with me. Even if Baburamji had not resigned, we would have been going for a plenum to settle the dispute.
All the leaders lost their posts, but your chairmanship remains unchanged.
I was also willing to give ]up my post. But, the party cannot function without the leadership. All leaders agreed to centralise power till the national convention and I agreed on such an alternative.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home