NC alone is opposed to referendum, says Nepal

Kathmandu, November 3:

General secretary of the CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal today said all the political parties, except for the Nepali Congress, were in favour of holding a referendum along with an election to a constituent assembly to decide the fate of monarchy.

“Other parties, except one party, have supported our party’s stance for holding a referendum along with the constituent assembly to decide the monarchy’s fate,” Nepal said, addressing a function organised by Nepal Muslim Ittehad to mark the Id-ul-Fitr of the Muslim community in the capital.

Nepal claimed that there was no logic in the view that the King would become active if a referendum was held. “Will the royalists not become active if the monarchy’s fate is decided by constituent assembly? Will the palace not try to influence the constituent assembly representatives if it is decided by the assembly?” he asked. He said that there was a hidden agenda of giving continuity to monarchy by not accepting the idea of referendum.

He also reiterated the party’s stance of going to a constituent assembly election on the proportional representational basis, as it would give opportunity to all the minorities and ethnic communities to elect their representatives to a constituent assembly.

An interim constitution needs to be finalised with the help of constitutional experts by the second week of November and other issues, including the one related to arms management, could also be ironed out provided that the parties in the conflict were willing to do so, Nepal added.

Nepal stressed the need to restructure the existing unitary system and introduce federalism in which all the communities, women and Dalits would have their true representation in state affairs.

Nepal also lamented that the government did not give a holiday on the occasion of Id-ul-Fitr.

Meanwhile, Former Prime Minister and NC (D) president, Sher Bahadur Deuba, said today that peace talks will not be held without reaching an agreement on the management of arms belonging to the Maoists.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Nepal Press Union (Kaski) in Pokhara, Deuba said: “As the management of weapons is the major problem, there is no use sitting for talks without settling the issue of arms management.” “Maoist chairman Prachanda is busy meeting officials of embassies in connection with the management of weapons,” Deuba said, adding that the issue of management of weapons will be settled soon.

“If foreigners are taking interest for good cause, their activities should not be interpreted as instances of intervention,” Deuba further said. “CA elections can be held in three months if there is peace in the country,” Deuba further said.