UML central committee backs consensus govt

Kathmandu, August 13:

An informal central committee meeting of the CPN-UML held today reiterated the need for the formation of a Maoist-led national unity government to find lasting peace and to write a new constitution.

The meeting was called to solicit suggestions from the central leaders about the party’s future political strategy, according to Ishwor Pokharel, chief of the party’s publicity department.

Most of the central committee members are learnt to have stressed the need to form the Maoist-led unity government to help bring the peace process to a logical conclusion and draft a new constitution. “A majority of the central leaders also expressed the views that the party must be ready to form the Maoist-led majority government with the support of other parties if the Nepali Congress chooses to sit in the opposition,” a central committee member said.

He added that UML-Maoist tie-up that makes a simple majority should be explored if other parties did not wish to join the new government.

Pokharel said most central leaders were of the opinion that the Maoists and the NC should not make the defence ministry a prestige issue and both the parties should be ready to hand it over to a third party if they could not reach an agreement.

Another standing committee member KP Sharma Oli said the defence ministry should in no way be given to the Maoists as it would create hurdles in the adjustment, rehabilitation and management of the Maoist armies and arms.

Earlier, a meeting of the 16 fringe parties reached a conclusion that the defence and home ministries, which are directly associated with the peace process, should not be held by the Maoists. But the meeting was unanimous to say the unity government should be led by the Maoists as the largest party in the CA.

“It would be better if the Maoists gave both Home and Defence to other parties,” CPN-ML general secretary CP Mainali, who organised the 16-party meet, said.

Meanwhile, four major parties which were scheduled to meet today at the Maoist parliamentary

party office could not meet because the UML and the NC were busy conducting intra-party meetings. Maoist chairman Prachanda said they would reach an agreement on the government before tomorrow morning’s meeting.

Earlier, the Maoist and the MJF leaders had a bilateral meeting about the formation of the unity government. MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav said they discussed the unity government and the ways to involve all major parties in it. He refused to give details of the meeting.

UML with Maoists, says Bamdev

KATHMANDU: UML leader Bamdev Gautam said at an interaction on Wednesday that the Maoists were forming their government with his party’s support. “We will back the Maoists to form a new government even if Nepali Congress sits in the opposition,” Gautam said. “We will try to form a consensus government till the last hour, and if that is not possible, we will vote for the Maoist candidate,” he said. Gautam said PM Girija Prasad Koirala wanted to create a situation where none of the parties can muster the required number for the PM’s election.

“Koirala wants to extend his rule, but the UML will not allow it,” he said. — HNS