Finalise interim statute: Nepal

Kathmandu, September 16 :

General secretary of the CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal, met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala this evening and asked him to take appropriate initiative to finalise the interim constitution so that an election to a constituent assembly could be held by mid-April 2007.

Talking to reporters after one-and-a-half-hour meeting with the PM at the latter’s official residence, Nepal said he asked the PM to convene a summit-level meeting between the SPA and the Maoist at the earliest to iron out differences on the interim statute.

He also told Koirala that the Maoists would come to an understanding with the government if it took steps to finalise the interim statute.

He said he also asked the PM to establish a separate ministry of peace and reconciliation, appoint a minister to look after the defence portfolio and chief election commissioner and commissioners of the Election Commission and National Human Rights Commission head and commissioners as soon as possible.

When asked about the PM’s reaction, Nepal quoted Koirala as saying, “I want to focus my attention on restoring peace, find solution to the conflict and the election to the constituent assembly.” He said PM Koirala was positive about holding summit talks with the Maoists. But Nepal did not say when the summit talks would be held, as “bilateral and multilateral” meetings were yet to be held among the concerned parties. Nepal, however, stressed that the summit meet should take place before Dashain.

Further asked whether today’s meeting had helped improve the relations between the two, Nepal said they had agreed to develop a “mechanism to establish hotline” between them.

Nepal, accompanied by UML standing committee member Bharat Mohan Adhikari, said he also asked the PM to improve performance of the government and not to interfere in the ministries led by the ministers of other political parties. Home Minister and chief government negotiator to hold peace talks with the Maoist Krishna Prasad Sitaula was also present at the meet .