PM, Nepal meet, discuss peace talks, arms issue

Kathmandu, October 19:

General secretary of the CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at the latter’s official residence at Baluwatar this evening to discuss the arms management and political issues and possibility of holding next round of talks between the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the Maoists before Tihar.

UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal, who also accompanied Nepal, said it was unlikely that the next top-level talks would be held before Tihar because all the parties engaged in the talks had yet to complete their groundwork.

After the meeting, Khanal said that they proposed the PM to find ways to manage the Maoist army and their weapons in three stages. He hoped that the issue of arms management would be easily settled once the parties in conflict reach a consensus on major political issues.

A team of the UN, led by personal representatives of UN secretary general Ian Martin, would be allowed to monitor the issue of arms management as per the five-point letter sent by the government and the Maoists to the UN on August 9.

Khanal said they reiterated the party’s stance with the PM that future of the monarchy should be decided by a referendum during an election to a constituent assembly which would be held by the second week of June next year.

He also said that they conveyed the PM that the election to the constituent assembly should be held on a proportional representation basis to make the election process more inclusive.

On the PM’s reaction on their stances, Khanal said the PM was positive to all those issues and said he would discuss all those issues with other partners. “Let us discuss the referendum issue with other parties and find an amicable solution acceptable to all,” Khanal quoted the PM as saying. Another UML leader Ishwor Pokharel also attended the meeting.

CA polls by June 2007: Adhikari

Biratnagar: CPN-UML standing committee member Bharat Mohan Adhikari on Thursday said that the election to the constituent assembly would be held by mid-June 2007. He added that the government has initiated the process of forming an election commission (EC). He said a decision to hold the CA election will be made within the month of Kartik. — HNS