In his first press conference after he became prime minister five months ago, Surya Bahadur Thapa on Tuesday concentrated on how his government would disarm the Maoist rebels before holding general and local elections. The government would implement a new security plan to contain terrorism with a 'civil military campaign' and 'unified command' between the Royal Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and the police. Although Thapa didn't give details, a civil military campaign is expected to mean arming villagers to resist Maoists.
There was no timeframe for elections announced, leading suspicious political parties of the dissolved parliament to smell a rat: they said Thapa was using the ruse of elections to prolong his tenure. But Thapa said he was setting up a task force to make necessary preparations for elections.
The plot thickened on the controversy over appointments to constitutional bodies with Thapa clarifying that the delay in the announcement was his doing. His government has been widely criticised for not making the appointments which have remained vacant for a long time, and parties have taken this as proof that the buck doesn't stop with the prime minister.