THT 10 years ago: Accords breached, says Prachanda

Kathmandu, April 16, 2007

Maoist chairman Prachanda today said there was no alternative to declaring the country a republic through parliament. According to him, there is no “guarantee” that constituent assembly election will be held even after six months.

Addressing a talk programme organised by the Reporters’ Club, Prachanda said all agreements between the Maoists and the seven-party alliance since the 12-point understanding in 2005 had been broken after the Election Commission expressed its inability to hold the election in June.

“A new basis for unity among the eight parties has to be found. The eight-party unity can be kept intact if all the parties opt for a republic to be declared through the interim legislature-parliament,” he said.

Prachanda said he met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala this morning and urged him to support the idea of announcing a republic in the parliament, which has the people’s mandate through the April revolution.

He said the Nepali Congress and the PM himself are not “negative” to the idea of a republic. “But they do not have a clear vision on it. That is why we are trying to convince them to go for it because there is no guarantee that the assembly polls can be held in the end of October,” Prachanda said.

He said a referendum could also be another option to decide on the future of monarchy.

He said his party, which joined the interim government only on April 1, cannot be held responsible for the delay in holding the polls.

8-party meet to decide on republic

A meeting of the Eight-Party Alliance will discuss and decide on whether the interim Parliament should declare Nepal a republic, as the Maoists have been demanding.

Reacting to queries of journalists at a reception organised by the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi) on its 18th anniversary here today, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala made this announcement.

Koirala indicated that the issue of constituent assembly election would also be discussed in the eight-party meeting. He, however, did not say when the meeting would be called. “Let’s see whether they (Maoists) can win the hearts of the other seven political parties,” Koirala, who did not completely rule out the possibility of the interim parliament announcing a republic, said in a jocular vein.

He, however, said that the agenda of a republican setup was not new for the Maoists. General Secretary of the CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal also agreed with what the Prime Minister told reporters. “Leave everything to the Eight-Party Alliance meeting to decide,” Nepal told reporters.

Stating that the CPN-UML had made a decision that the future of monarchy should be decided through a referendum, Nepal said discussions would be held in the meeting on the proposal.