Parties rapped for not declaring truce

Kathmandu, May 1:

A civil society member today expressed disappointment on the way the seven-party alliance has been acting since the restoration of the House of Representatives (HoR).

Dr Sundar Mani Dixit also asked why the parties have not declared a ceasefire. “The red corner notice is still in place. The Prime Minister only appealed to the Maoists to renounce violence and come to the talks table. This was done even by the King and the Chand government; the parties are committing a mistake again,” Dixit said. He was addressing an interaction at the Reporters’ Club Nepal.

He lambasted the MPs for not raising the issue of returning the RNA to the barracks. “If it is not done immediately, it will be too late and the King will be able to play again with help from the RNA and the think tank inside the palace,” he said. MP Jaganath Khatiwada said an interim Constitution was needed to go to the elections to a Constituent Assembly. “The interim Constitution will bring the RNA under parliament and will also decide the role of the King until elections to the Constituent Assembly are held,” the CPN-UML leader said. He said the 1990 Constitution may invite an ‘unfortunate incident’ if it is not scrapped now.

Navaraj Subedi of the Janamorcha Nepal echoed Khatiwada’s words. “Let the people decide on everything, including the King. An immediate issue is to draft an interim Constitution and a modality to go to the elections to the Constituent Assembly,” Subedi said. He added that the new Cabinet to be formed will declare truce and call the Maoists for talks.

He ruled out chances of the Maoists participating in the Constituent Assembly elections without first laying down weapons. “What is important is a political settlement; even the 12-point understanding would not allow the Maoists to participate in the elections with arms,” he said.

Ramesh Lekhak of the Nepali Congress-Democratic said the next step now would be to see how elections to a Constituent Assembly can be held. “It can be done by drafting an interim constitution; it can also be done by amending regulations governing the HoR and amending the current Constitution,” he said.

NC’s Mahanta Thakur said the HoR has the mandate of the people who have already decided about the King’s future.