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High hopes

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Maoist leaders have contested reports that the party’s chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, offered support to Girija Prasad Koirala to oust the current government. Maoist politburo member Janardan Sharma said those reports were a part of propaganda to discredit the party. From Nepalnews:

“In no way are we going propose Koirala for Prime Minister. There should be a national government led by us,” Maoist politburo member Janardan Sharma said at an interaction programme in the capital Wednesday, dismissing media reports that party chairman Dahal offered the PM’s post to the NC president during their meeting yesterday.

The Nepali Congress president is mum on the subject although members of his party have said it is unlikely that he might have received such an offer and kept it secret. Republica quotes Minister Minendra Rijal:

“Had Dahal proposed Koirala for premiership, Koirala as our party president would have shared it with us,” Rijal said.

Koirala met UNMIN chief Karen Landgren on Wednesday to brief her on the progress of High Level Political Mechanism. The mechanism has been delegated the task of deciding how many Maoist combatants should be integrated into the security forces by the Special Committee on Integration and Rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants. The Kathmandu Post writes:

During a meeting with UNMIN Chief Karen Landgren, Koirala said that the mechanism had put the issue of the integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants as its first priority and that it would expedite the process.

Speaking to his party’s standing committee, Maoist chairman Dahal has said the High Level Political Mechanism could also pave way to take the peace process to its logical end by finding solution to the current impasse and expediting the constitution writing process. From Republica:

During the meeting Dahal also stated that there are nationalist in the current government and the party should appeal to them to quit the government and join hands with the Maoists. The Maoist chairman opined that the HLPM could be the means to defeat “the counter revolution plan being hatched by the national anti-revolutionaries backed by the foreigners, especially India.”

A Final piece of news for Thursday: the two opposing forces in the Tarai – Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee – have decided to launch an agitation to protest the federalism model proposed by the Constituent Assembly. Republica writes:

The MPRF and TJSC have vowed to continue their struggle until there was a guarantee of single province stretching from Jhapa in the east to Kanchanpur in the west with rights to self determination. The CA Committee had proposed a total of 14 federal states including two – Tharuhat and Madhes – in the southern plains.

Watch this space for updates.

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