Maoists for polls after republic, says Bhattarai

Kathmandu, September 16:

A delegation of The Carter Centre led by former US ambassador to the United Nations

Peter Berleigh today met Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai at the latter’s residence at Naya Bazaar.

A statement issued by Dr Bhattarai’s personal assistant Bishwodip Pandey said the one hour-long meeting focused on the challenges ahead of the constituent assembly election.

Dr Bhattarai told Berleigh that the Maoists were committed to holding the constituent assembly polls, but that the country should be declared a republic and the election system must be based on proportional representation to ensure true participation of Madhesis, ethnic communities, Dalits and women.

Earlier today, Dr Bhattarai discussed the country’s political situation with Danish Ambassador to Nepal Finn Thilsted. Bhattarai told the envoy that his party wanted to solve the current problem through dialogue, but said it would go for an agitation if the political talks failed.

Also today, addressing a programme organised by the Joint Democratic Republic Front-Japan, a Maoist-affiliated front, in honour of the physically-challenged people at Kamal Pokhari, Dr Bhattarai said they will pull out of the government and go for an agitation if a political understanding did not emerge by tomorrow.

Another Maoist leader Mohan Baidhya (Kiran), addressing a programme in the capital, said the planned roundtable conference scheduled for tomorrow has been withheld until another decision is taken.

Bidhya said that they decided to withhold the conference, as they were holding informal talks with political parties and diplomatic communities on their 22-point agenda and the party’s decision to pull out of the government.