Talks must focus on CA poll process, say leaders

Kathmandu, June 14 :

Central leaders of the Seven-Party Alliance (SPA) said today that the government-Maoist talks teams must settle the issues of an interim statute, process of an election to a constituent assembly, management of Maoists’ arms and sign a peace treaty in the next round of talks. They also stressed the need of giving priority to peace talks and holding comprehensive discussions with all parties involved in the conflict.

Speaking at the Sambad Club, Nepali Congress central leader Arjun Narsingh KC said that the alliance and the government had not done adequate homework for the peace process and given priority to the talks. He asked the government to implement the commitments and declaration made by the House of Representatives. KC said it was the weakness of the government not to amend the Working Procedural Regulations of the council of ministers.

He, however, said that it was not necessary to introduce an interim statute as drastic changes had already been made in the 1990 Constitution through a parliamentary

declaration. “The issue of an interim statute can be settled if an agreement is made with the Maoists about their arms management.”

Central leader of the CPN-UML Shankar Pokharel said the government should immediately make amendments to the Working Procedural Regulations of the council of

ministers to give legitimacy to the talks between the government and the Maoists.

He also asked the NC to come out with a clear stance on the requirement of an interim statute. It is essential for the State and the rebels to sign the Peace Treaty and talks teams must focus on the management of the Maoists’ arms before summit meeting between the rebels and alliance leadership is held. He also stressed the need to work out a principle of power sharing among the parties involved in the conflict.

Dr Minendra Rijal of the NC (D) said that the next round of talks must focus on the process of going to the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA).

Rijal added that an interim statute was not required, as the present constitution itself had become an interim one after the parliamentary declaration. He said it would be an

uphill task to go to the election to the CA unless the Maoists give up hope of resorting to arms and the alliance of sticking to Parliament.

Lawmaker and general secretary of the Janamorcha Nepal Navaraj Subedi said

that the issue of the interim statute should be settled with the Maoists based on the HoR declaration.

Saying that both the government and the Maoists could not pull out of the peace process, Subedi called on the two sides to sign a Peace Treaty. If a Peace Treaty were signed, Nepal would not need international mediators to supervise the ceasefire agreement, he said.