Road to republic clear: Prachanda

Hetauda, April 25:

CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda today said the road to a republic was open now. Talking to media persons at Panor Resort in Daman of Makwanpur, Prachanda said it would be better for king Gyanendra to quit the palace of his own volition in view of the public support for a republic. He added that if he (the king) refused to live as a common citizen, the Maoists would take steps to ensure that he did.

Prachanda said the first meeting of the constituent assembly would select 26 members from different political parties and the same meeting would implement the republican agenda.

He said there was no need to worry about the issue of the People’s Liberation Army’s integration into the Nepal Army and added that it would happen just as miraculously as the CPN-Maoist’s electoral victory. Stating that the Maoists were to lead the government, he said there would be significant changes in their behaviour and also in that of the Young Communist League’s.

Asked about the participation of the NC and the CPN-UML in the government, Prachanda said the UML ministers’ resignation was just a knee-jerk reaction to their party’s defeat in the polls and added, “I met Girija babu twice and he has assured me of all cooperation. Despite the wrangling in NC and voices against joining the Maoist-led government, it is his (Koirala’s) word that will be the final one.”

Prachanda said that talks with experts were going on about formulating a media policy and added that legwork was on within the party to free the media from government control. He said that the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum leader Upendra Yadav was deputed by the Maoists to collect the Madhesi people on one platform. Prachanda said Yadav was happy now and once MJF’s relations with Maoists got better there would be no hurdle in making the country a republic. He said he was optimistic about the NC and the UML joining the new government.

Stating that was no provision in the interim statute for installing a president, Prachanda said he would be content to serve as an acting PM until the provision for a president was included in the new statute. He added that he would be an acting premier with full-fledged powers and not like PM Koirala.

Prachanda said Nepal possessed all the resources to achieve economic progress and attain development but these had never been managed properly. He said the Maoists would work an economic miracle. Talks with foreign donor agencies had been cordial, he said adding that the path to economic success was negotiable now. About the disbanding of YCL, he said the idea was acceptable if it was a suggestion from parties but in the event of it being a condition it would not be acceptable.