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Up in the air

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The political parties have wasted a month of the extended tenure of the CA on interpreting the five-point agreement they had signed on 28 May.

The agreement was a condition to extend the CA term to conclude the ongoing peace and constitution writing process. But the very agreement had sowed a seed of discord within the parties.

The big three parties that signed the agreement came up with different interpretations of the points in the agreement. Even the leaders of the same parties started giving contradictory statements regarding the agreement.

The leadership of NC was criticised for leaving its 10-point condition for the CA extension.  UML leaders started giving contradictory speeches publicly regarding the resignation of the prime minister. A vertical split emerged within the Maoists regarding the issue of integration of the Maoist fighters.

According to the agreement, Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal was supposed to resign from his post paving way for formation of a national consensus government. NC demanded immediate resignation of the prime minister while UML and the Maoists refused, saying that the prime minister is to stay there until political parties agree on a consensus candidate for the post.

On first week of June, the Maoists decided to end dual security system for their leaders, an important step toward the completion of the peace process. But the party hardliners refused to send their security back to the cantonment. The party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal failed to implement the party decision.

The ideological conflict soon snowballed into party’s problem that has pushed the party to the edge. The party’s central committee meeting that was put off on Friday has not resumed yet. The rift has deepened so much that two other factions led by Kiran Baidhya and Baburam Bhattarai collected signatures of the central committee members and warned of removing the party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal from the post of parliamentary party leader.

One party’s internal rift had impact on entire task of the Special Committee. It could not finalise the modality of integration and rehabilitation due to incorporation of the Maoists.

On Monday, the taskforce of the Dispute Resolution Sub-committee to settle contentious issues in constitution drafting submitted its report to the sub-committee without resolving the issues. However, the taskforce reduced 78 contentious issues in the state restructuring to 25. The subcommittee will discuss on the remaining issues that requires political consensus to be finalised. The differences are on the issues of state restructuring and forms of governance.

Similarly, a parliamentary committee has been formed to monitor the five-point agreement Monday. The committee headed by the Speaker Subas Nembang, comprises of party chief whips as well as the CA members from the smaller parties. The previous committees and taskforces have been proved meaningless. It is yet to see how it prompts political parties to resolve their differences, when they have their own differences within the parties, and move the peace and constitution writing process.

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One Response to “Up in the air”

  1. jange on Says:

    No problem. There are still 2 whole months left.

    Don’t worry. One week before the time limit we will all be the in front of the CA to put pressure to finalise the constitution. And there will be another 3 month extension.


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