Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Deadlock



Doesn't look like negotiations on elections are going anywhere. The Maoist proposals on a republic and full-proportional elections are not going to be voted by parliament. Pushpa Kamal Dahal is locked in by pressure of radicals within his party and is in no position to be flexible. NC president Girija Prasad Koirala is also under pressure from his party stalwarts and India's green signal to stick to his demands even more strongly. The Indian prime minister's special envoy, Shyam Saran, brought the message that parliament shouldn't be declaring a republic before the vote. India would prefer parliament to announce an interim president to be ratified by the first session of the constituent assembly. But Koirala is nervous about doing that because of the probability of a military coup. Koirala's formula is to declare a German-style proportional representation system and to announce a commitment by parliament on a republic. The fact that the Maoists poured scorn over Saran's proposal after his departure shows just how unpopular it is among them.

Ram Bahadur Thapa says even if there is agreement on one of the two proposals parliament could vote. But even if the UML votes with the Maoists, they will need the NC votes to get a two-thirds majority.

The UML has also rejected the Maoist demands. There is a sense of urgency because of the Maoist threat to launch a rebellion if it fails to secure the necessary support in parliament for its proposal. If they go back to the streets to declare a republic and a new government, the seven party unity will fall apart and so will the peace process.

The deadlock resulted in the UML calling for an extension of the parliament meeting by two days till Thursday. The radicals in the Maoist party led by Mohan Baidya and Ram Bahadur Thapa have given leader Dahal little room for maneuvre. "At this rate, there will be no agreement even by Thursday," according to an analyst.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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