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New opposition

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Are the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s days in office numbered? Members of his own party have signed a petition asking him to “open ways for national government”, Kantipur writes:

By Tuesday evening, a total of 70 CC members and a majority of CA members had put their signatures on the proposal demanding that Prime Minister Nepal  “create a conducive environment for forming a new national consensus government”.

The CC members will submit the paper bearing signatures to the prime minister and party Chairman Jhalanath Khanal possibly by Thursday, according to UML CC members.

“We started the campaign to replace this government after concluding that it was incapable of breaking the deadlock and completing the constitution within the stipulated time. The deadlock could push the country towards another crisis,” said CA member Rabindra Adhikari.

This after the party chairman Jhal Nath Khanal told Republica that the constitution will be written on time “only if a miracle happens.” Excerpt of the interview:

Khanal: We must make the people realize that now the parties are sincere about the deadline. If we really work hard we can achieve miracles.

Do you mean the constitution will be drafted in time only if a miracle happens?

Khanal: Yes. Let’s understand it that way for now. [laughs].

You know, who isn’t laughing? The prime minister. A day after Madhesi Janadhikar Forum held a meeting with the Maoists, the prime minister rounded up the Madhesi parties from his government, who then pledged support to his government. Republica writes:

According to MPRF-D Chairman Gachchhadar, the meeting also dwelled on the issue of changing the leadership of the government. The prime minister sought the views of the three Madhes parties on the issue as the UCPN (Maoist) has long been demanding a change of guard at Singha Durbar, saying that was needed for taking the peace process to a logical conclusion and promulgating a new constitution on time.

The three parties, according to Gachchhadar, told the prime minister that they were firmly behind the current government and it was not desirable to change the government since there are just 57 days left to the deadline for the new statute. “It is high time senior leaders of the big parties acted seriously to take the peace process to a logical end and promulgate the new constitution within the stipulated date,” said Gachchhadar.

The senior leaders of big parties seem to have their own ideas about how to achieve that. A standing committee meeting of the Maoists reached a decision to overthrow the government because of its “failure to counter the imminent surge of the rightists”, reports Republica:

“Even the incumbent ministers are publicly speaking against secularism, republicanism and federalism. The government has become a vortex of rightist activities. So the government must be toppled at any cost,” Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma said.

According to him, Maoists will step up parleys with other political parties for the formation of a new government committed to peace process and constitution-drafting. “We will push for a Maoist-led national unity government at first. But we may even go for a majority government if the attempt fails,” said Sharma.

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