Maoists came in the way of republic: Poudel

Kathmandu, October 17:

Nepali Congress (NC) vice-president and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, Ram Chandra Poudel, said today that the goal of establishing a federal democratic republican order became a distant dream due to the Maoists’ stand. Addressing a talk programme at the Reporters’ Club here, Poudel said that the nation would have moved towards a federal democratic republic had the Maoists agreed to hold the constituent assembly election on November 22.

The interim government had, on June 24, decided to hold the constituent assembly election in November after the eight political parties failed to hold the election in June.

Minister Poudel made it clear that the already-agreed agreements could not be revoked. “We cannot revoke the already-agreed agreements. What we can do is that we can improve them in line with the agreements,” he said.

According to him, NC has assured the constituents of the seven-party alliance that it will go for a federal democratic republic, form the government, draft a new constitution and restructure the state on the basis of consensus.

“We have proposed that a joint commitment can be made on those issues if the Maoists are ready to go for the election,” he said. Poudel hoped that a way out could be found out by October 27 as the Maoists appeared to be positive to fresh proposals of the Nepali Congress.

He also revealed the fact that the NC decided to go for a federal democratic republic as requested by Prachanda.

CPN-UML’s standing committee member Bharat Mohan Adhikari said that his party tabled an amendment proposal to the Maoist proposals of declaring the country a republic and proportional representation system of election to avoid confrontation in the parliament.

“The CPN-UML is looking for a middle way between the stances of the Nepali Congress and the Maoists,” he said, adding: “Any understanding between the Nepali Congress and the Maoists is acceptable to our patty.” He further said that his party would be ready even to withdraw its amendment proposal if an understanding was reached among the seven political parties.

Adhikari warned that the country would be a “failed state” if elections were not held within 2064 BS, and the reactionary elements and foreign forces would take advantage of the situation.

Adhikari, said that the constituent assembly election could not be conducted in November because the government did not effectively manage the Maoist combatants and their cantonments; did not provide monthly and daily allowances to them as per the agreement; did not form a commission to settle the cases of disappearance and did not provide relief to the victims of the conflict.

The government’s non-performance on those vital issues led to the deferral of the election, Adhikari said.