Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
'NC is open to reinstatement', Kantipur

Kantipur: Is the latest tripartite meeting making desired progress?
Sushil Koirala:
We are very concerned about the deteriorating political environment in the country and are trying our best to reach an agreement on major issues. The name, number and territorial boundaries of future federal states, as well as the form of governance are being discussed in great detail.

What are the chances of agreement on federalism?
There are major differences between the NC/UML and the UCPN-M regarding the nature of federalism. But I feel the Maoist chairman has realised the urgency of the situation and seems serious in finding a solution. I am hopeful that we can find a solution sooner than later.

Are you in the process of ending the deadlock through dialogue and reinstating the CA?
We haven't decided on that yet. The Maoists want to end the deadlock through dialogue and reinstatement of the CA, while we are proposing an all party government that would forge agreement on outstanding issues. But if there is immediate consensus on all issues, the CA can be reinstated.

But Dahal blames you for the lack of consensus among parties?
It surprises me and I have questioned him about this. I have always adhered to BP's political vision of seeking reconciliation through dialogue and feel there is no other way of ending the present political impasse. An unstable Nepal is not in anybody's interest including our neighbours India and China.

The Maoists head the government now and have even formed an alliance with other parties. Do you think reconciliation is possible under these circumstances?
The alliance in the name of federalism is a sham. Who is against federalism in this country? If they are blaming us then they should remember that GP Koirala was the first politician to stand in favour of federalism. We are only concerned about the nature of federalism and the number of states.

If your party decides to go for re-elections, will you reject the possibility of reinstatement?
The party will decide what it thinks is best for the country. We will agree on whatever helps end the deadlock as quickly as possible. Although majority party members want re-elections, we are also open to the possibility of reviving the CA.

Do you think the president should play an active role in the current process?
No, the NC is not in favour of encouraging any unconstitutional move by the president. Even the president has made it clear that he has no intentions of playing an active role.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)