Kathmandu, August 11:

A senior Maoist leader said today that the November 22 constituent assembly polls cannot be held unless the ruling eight parties reached a new agreement on proportional representation (PR) system of election for the same.

He, however, did not categorically say that his party would not take part in the polls if the election systems were not reviewed.

“The constituent assembly election cannot be held on November 22 without agreeing on the proportional representation system of election, as the Madhesis and Janajatis have also demanded it,” CP Gajurel, chief of the CPN-Maoist’s foreign affairs department, said at the end of the party’s briefly held central committee meeting.

Gajurel added the assembly polls would have no meaning if the Madhesis, Janajatis and minorities boycotted the polls.

Gajurel further said the party would launch a movement stressing the need to introduce the proportional representation system of election for the constituent assembly, as the issue had been “indispensable”.

He said that the party leadership had already sent a message to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala urging him to convene the eight-party alliance’s meeting soon to discuss the issue that they had raised.

“We came to know about your demands and the eight-party meeting will be called after consultation with the alliance partners,” Gajurel quoted a Nepali Congress leader as telling them.

The Maoist leadership resurrected the issue of proportional representation system after a majority of delegates participating in the party’s fifth expanded meeting (plenum) that concluded on Wednesday criticised the leadership for giving in to the mixed election system.

The party has also received flak from the Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits and minority communities for giving up the party’s long-standing stance of proportional representation system, said Gajurel.

“Our representatives held talks with the government and the seven-party alliance reached a compromise on the mixed election system thinking that the election will be held in June. But it did not happen. The Madhesis, Janajatis and marginalised communities also accused us of giving up their agenda,” Gajurel said. Party chairman Prachanda, while replying to queries

of the plenum delegates, conceded that they made a mistake by reaching a compromise on the mixed system of election.

Asked if it was possible to go for proportional representation when the mixed election system had already been adopted and the Election Commission had already started its preparations for the election on mixed election basis, Gajurel said: “It (the proportional representation system) can be revived if the parties wish so.”

He said the interim constitution and law related to the assembly election could also be amended giving adequate time (90 days) for the Election Commission for election preparations under the new provision.

He even suggested that the November 22 election could also be deferred for at least a month if the parties agreed on it.