Carter’s formula puts PM Koirala under pressure

Kathmandu, November 27:

The suggestions former US President Jimmy Carter gave on the election system have piled pressure on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to alter his party’s position on the election system in a partial manner.

Whether Carter succeeded in achieving the objectives of seeing Nepal going to the polls soon will be known only after the political issues are resolved and the election rescheduled as suggested by him. Carter has, apart from suggesting his own election model, criticised the non-implementation of the commitments referred to in the peace deal, apprehending that the non-implementation could stall the polls But the NC is still against any change in the election system, with a section of the party leaders criticising Carter in a meeting held today.

A section of political analysts, including Prof Lok Raj Baral and Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani, discounted claims that Carter was on “a political mission or he promoted American interest given the strategic location of Nepal between India and China.” An indication of whether Carter has cast his influence could come by Thursday, the end of the 10- day adjournment sought to evolve a consensus on parliamentary directives concerning declaration of a republic and an election system based on all-out proportional representation.

But given the constitutional provision, the CA polls can be rescheduled by December 15, thus giving enough time to the parties to reach an agreement.

“But one thing is for sure: The suggestions have stepped up pressure on Koirala and have emboldened the Left,” Prof Baral said, adding that “if that means anything, what the US wants in Nepal is an early election.”

US embassy spokesman Mark Larsen was non-committal on the nature of Carter’s visit.”Go by whatever he (Carter) himself said while here,” Larsen told this daily.