THT 10 YEARS AGO: Comments on king misquoted, says PM

Kathmandu, June 18, 2007

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today claimed that the remarks he made concerning King Gyanendra and Crown Prince Paras yesterday were “misreported by the media due to low English comprehension level.”

He said this while talking to a group of reporters who had gone to Baluwatar to cover the Nepali Congress (NC) Parliamentary Party (PP) meeting. “I was misquoted. Maybe the problem was I had spoken in English and the mediapersons who disseminated my views had low English comprehension level,” Koirala said. Members of the delegation who had accompanied the visiting Pakistani journalists to Baluwatar to meet Koirala had said that Koirala had told the visitors that he had already told King Gyanendra and Crown Prince Paras “to abdicate before the elections take place if they were keen to see that institution of monarchy gets continuity in Nepal.”

He was also reported to have said that since both were unpopular among the masses, both stand advised to leave the country before the elections, or that they could stay on as businessmen if they decided against flying out. Koirala also denied saying a minor could be picked up as the monarch if king Gyanandra and his son abdicated.

Meanwhile, talking to representatives of the striking teachers, Koirala said that he was committed to holding elections by November and that the nation and the people could come under a worse scenario if the elections were not held. “I have taken the responsibility of my lifetime. I will see to it that elections take place .”

Remarks undermine interim statute, says Prachanda

Kathmandu, June 18, 2007

Reacting on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s statement on monarchy, Maoist chairman Prachanda today said the PM was trying to protect the institution by going against the decisions of the eight-party alliance.

“This indicates that the Nepali Congress is against the eight-party unity and it wants to see monarchy continue,” Prachanda told reporters after addressing Maoist MPs in the parliamentary party’s meeting in Singha Durbar.

“His remarks undermine the second amendment of the Interim Constitution and also intimidate the importance of the decision the parliament has taken,” Prachanda said. Prachanda reiterated that his party does not want monarchy in any form in the country. In the parliamentary party meeting, Prachanda accused the government of not showing eagerness to hold Constituent Assembly election.

“Our leader (Prachanda) called upon us to prepare for Jana Andolan-III as Jana Andolan-II could not meet our demands in reality,” Maoist MP Khim Lal Devkota said. Accusing the Maoist MPs of not doing much in parliament to usher in a republic, Prachanda urged them to stick to their stance.