Kathmandu, July 8:

Minister of State for Labour and Transport Management and a member of the government talks team Ramesh Lekhak said yesterday that there would not be any problem in forming an interim government and going for an election to a constituent assembly if the Maoists are not wedded to their arms and the seven-party alliance to the revived parliament.

“There will not be any problem to accommodate the Maoists in an interim government once the arms management issue is settled,” Lekhak said at a programme organised by the New Media Club on implementation of agreements between the parties and the Maoists.

He made it clear that the government wrote a letter to the United Nations seeking its help for the management of arms of both the sides as the Maoists had agreed on UN involvement in arms management in the 12-point and the eight-point understandings. Lekhak also said that the content of the letter to the UN would be made public soon.

He informed that the Peace Committee, headed by NC leader and lawmaker Ram Chandra Poudel, was doing its homework on the content of Peace Treaty to be signed by the government and the Maoists.

“It will be easy for the UN to accomplish its job once both sides sign Peace Treaty,” he said and asked the Maoists to return the property they had seized to the people, stop extortion and shut down people’s courts.

Shankar Pokharel of the CPN-UML said that the Council of Ministers should approve the agreements reached with the Maoists while the alliance partners should also ratify them by their respective parties’ official forums.

The government talks team should also take the parliament into confidence about the understanding it reached with the rebels, he said. He advised the Maoists not to be skeptical about UN involvement in arms management as they had already agreed to it.

Human rights defender Krishna Pahadi, however, said that the ministers had started putting forth their own demands whereas they were in implementation and decision-making places.

He accused the political parties and the parliament of creating hurdles to delay the agenda of constituent assembly polls.

“We do not need any parliament that cannot hold an election to a constituent assembly,” Pahadi said, adding: “Parliament’s responsibility is to hold constituent assembly polls, not to prolong its tenure.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the Sambad Club here Nepali Congress (Democratic) leader Dr Man Mohan Bhattarai asked the parties to be clear about the kind of system they want to establish through constituent assembly polls.

About the UN’s role in arms management, Bhattarai said that it is the UN Security Council that decides on the world body’s involvement in arms management and the USA has a veto-wielding power in the council.

“It is, therefore, important to take note of what the US ambassador has said about the Maoists joining the interim government before laying down their arms. The parties in conflict should take into account of this ground reality before taking any decision,” he said.