NC will follow spirit of movement: Dr Koirala

Kathmandu, May 15:

Nepali Congress leader Dr Shekhar Koirala said today that his party would ultimately go for an election to constituent assembly with an agenda of republic, according to the spirit of the People’s Movement.

“There is no doubt that the spirit of the People’s Movement is republic and the NC will move ahead according to the people’s aspiration,” Koirala said while addressing a talk programme on Constituent Assembly election: Opportunities and Challenges, organised by the Tribhuvan University Unit of Nepal Students’ Union.

The government-Maoists talks would start after the government and the Maoists finalise a code of conduct, which they have already exchanged.

He said the parliament must scrap the Raj Parishad and Military Secretariat at the Royal Palace and parliament must exercise the rights to decide on the successor of the throne and the National Defence Council must be restructured.

Koirala said election to constituent assembly must be based on proportional representation, which must also be followed even by the new constitution.

Political science professor Krishna Khanal said the parliament should have declared the country a republic in its first meeting rather than issuing a proclamation. “Mandate of the people’s movement is republic, nothing less than that,” said Khanal.

He also advised the NC not to go for an election to constituent assembly without a clear agenda on republic. “An agenda which is less than republic will be unacceptable to Nepali people,” he said.

He said Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had had a long experience of working with the monarchy and he should understand the fact that democracy and monarchy - either it may be constitutional or ceremonial – could not to together.

Central committee member of the CPN-UML, Shankar Pokharel, asked the political forces, who still believe in ceremonial monarchy, to prove that the monarchy would not be harmful to democracy in the future. Pokharel said it was the Royal Nepalese Army, which backed the King’s February 1 coup and the security forces resorted to suppression of the movement under the unified command of the RNA.

“So, either the RNA must be made accountable to the people and parliament or it should be replaced with a new force,” he said. He stressed the need to keep Maoists’ armed forces in a certain area, like the state forces are kept in barracks, during election to constituent assembly.

Professor Yagya Prasad Adhikari stressed the need for an interim government before going for constituent assembly election. He also said the alliance and the Maoists must have a consensus views on federal system, proportional representation and restructuring the state.

He advised the NC not to go to the constituent assembly election with an agenda of ceremonial monarchy and also demanded nationalisation of late King Birendra and his family’s property.