Kathmandu, January 1:

Prominent intellectuals and civil society members today suggested that the seven-party alliance explain to people the rationale behind its decision to boycott the municipal election slated on February 8.

They also advised the agitating parties to come up with a “single-point agenda” about their stance on monarchy if they expect large-scale participation of people in their joint movement.

Former minister Nilambar Acharya opined that the alliance should so launch its campaign that there is no possibility of holding the polls. “The political parties must effectively tell people that the municipal elections are a part of the King’s broader plan to consolidate his autocracy because the election was announced without consulting the major political parties,” Acharya said at a panel discussion held by the Nepal Intellectual Council.

He also urged the alliance not to talk of reconciliation with the King until the latter agrees fully to remain “inactive in politics”. He advised the parties to evolve a central secretariat so that the joint movement can be launched effectively.

Asking the alliance partners to be clear about the goal of their joint movement, another former minister and coordinator of the Civic Campaign for Peace and Democracy Dr Devendra Raj Pandey said the alliance should educate the people that the “King has captured the state not only to consolidate his own power but also to reap economic benefits.” He also asked the political parties to come out with a single-point agenda on the institution of the monarchy.

Replying to participants’, CPN-UML standing committee member Jhalanath Khanal said the alliance would tell people that it decided to boycott the municipal elections as that is going to be held by an “unconstitutional government” and also that such elections would in no way restore people’s supremacy, transfer executive power to the people or bring back peace.

“We will tell the people that the municipal election would divide the countrymen between those living in cities and enjoying voting rights and others in the villages remaining deprived of it,” Khanal said. He said the alliance should have courage to form a parallel government to challenge the King’s autocracy.

NC spokesperson Krishna Prasad Situala said that the alliance was working out an action plan for peaceful boycott of the civic elections. “This election is a drama. The King wants to keep the political parties under his control, and which is not possible,” Sitaula said, adding that the alliance would launch peaceful campaigns against the election while the Maoists would also do the same in their own way.

‘Alliance little brother of Maoists’

NEPALGUNJ: Minister for Agriculture and Cooperative, Keshar Bahadur Bista, speaking at a press meet held his party, Democratic Nepal, on Sunday in Nepalgunj, said: “The front is the little brother of the Maoists because it never does anything without asking them.” He added, “We can expect nothing from the political parties because they are making adjustments with the Maoists — a group that is unconstitutional.” Bista urged the parties to take part in the polls. — HNS