Leaders iffy on reconciliation with King

Kathmandu, February 16:

A day after the US ambassador stressed the need for reconciliation between the King and the parties, Nepali Congress (NC) joint general secretary Dr Ram Saran Mahat expressed doubts over any chance of reconciliation between the King and the parties when the King has “encroached” the constitution.

Reacting to US envoy to Nepal James F Moriarty’s stance on reconciliation, Dr Mahat said Moriarty was quiet on framework for dialogue between the King and the parties. “What is the framework for dialogue with the King when he has encroached the constitutional norms?” he asked.

Saying that the 12-point understanding was aimed at making efforts to bring Maoists in the democratic mainstream politics, Mahat said, “Let’s give them (Maoists) a benefit of doubt through verification. If they are not sincere, that would be exposed during the process of dialogue.”

He claimed that violence and killing have decreased after the 12-point pact even though it has not been “fully implemented.”

He labelled the Supreme Court decision that scrapped the RCCC as a silver lining in the dark clouds. “This has indicated that the constitution can still be revived,” he added.

CPN-UML standing committee member K P Oli said the Maoist leaders’ frequent criticism against the US might have raised the concern of the US envoy to react in such a way. He gave two options to the King: “Either the King should respect the constitution or tear it.” He, however, suggested the King to opt for the first option. He added, “Or else, conflict will further escalate.”

General secretary of the NC (D) Prakash Man Singh brushed aside the suggestion of reconciliation between the King and the parties. “Merely holding dialogue among the constitutional forces will not give a way out now,” he said. He suggested two ways to end the deadlock: Dialogue among all what he said three forces - the King, the political parties and the Maoists - or elections to a constituent assembly. Singh also said House revival could be a “launching pad” for the future course.

RPP (Rana) spokesperson Parsu Ram Khapung stressed the need of consensus among the constitutional forces to create environment for dialogue with the Maoists.

Leader of the United Left Front, C P Mainali, said the parties won’t agree with the US stance of reconciliation unless the King corrects his mistakes. “Unless the political parties and the extreme Left force come together, autocracy cannot be defeated,” he argued.