Hold CA polls by mid-April: Nepal

Calls parties, rebels to let people settle thorny issues

Kathmandu, August 31 :

General secretary of the CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal today stressed the need to hold elections to a constituent assembly (CA) by mid-April 2007 after adopting the interim constitution through a legitimate process.

He also called on the alliance and the Maoist leadership to leave contentious issues aside while adopting the interim statute as the issues would further delay the CA elections. “It is unnecessary to get bogged down on the contentious issues over the statute as all the political parties would go to the people during the CA elections with their position. He also hoped there would not be any complication in finalising the interim statute.

Releasing a book titled Magh-19 (February 19) authored by UML standing committee member

Ishwor Pokharel, in Lalitpur, Nepal said a high-level meeting of the seven-party alliance and the CPN-Maoist would adopt the interim constitution soon and it would be adopted through a due legitimate process.

“CA elections should be held by mid-April 2007 after the interim statute is adopted; an interim parliament is created; an interim government is formed and the issue of arms management is settled,” Nepal said, adding that the issue of citizenship certificate should also be settled permanently before the constituent assembly polls.

Nepali Congress general secretary Ram Chandra Poudel said his party wanted to go to the constituent assembly elections at the earliest. “Adequate homework must be done before the CA elections are held, as we do not want to fall prey to another kind of autocracy in the name of holding the elections,” said Poudel. He said that they had asked the Laxman Prasad Aryal panel to wait for sometime till the alliance and the Maoists came to an understanding on the interim statute.

“But the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee made a hurry by handing over the draft of the interim statute.”

“Unnecessary issues should not be incorporated in the interim statute, as its task is to set the principle and process of the constituent assembly polls,” Poudel said, adding,” The rest of the things must be left to the people to decide during the CA elections.”

Speaker Subas Nembang said that the CA elections must be held as soon as possible. He also hoped that the alliance and the Maoists would adopt the interim statute soon.