THT 10 YEARS AGO: Leaders’ meeting fails to make any headway

Kathmandu, October 3, 2007

Leaders of the seven political parties had a meeting today but the impasse continued with the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-Maoist sticking to their respective stance on the issues of election process and a republic.

The NC has been maintaining that it will in no way be ready for changing the already agreed process of election, while the CPN-Maoist is insisting that the polls be held on full proportional representation basis and the country be declared a republic by the parliament.

Top guns of the seven parties would sit again tomorrow morning to end the impasse. The meeting was called to sort out the differences over the contentious issues after the Election Commission (EC) agreed to delay the date of filing nomination of candidates by five days at the seven parties’ request.

The new date of filing nomination of candidates for proportional representation system has been fixed for October 5. EC has said it will be the last chance for the parties. Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai said they gave the seven-party alliance three package proposals to end the political deadlock. “If the parties, particularly the NC, agree on one of our three package proposals, things will move ahead; otherwise, the political deadlock will continue,” Dr Bhattarai said.

Emerging from the inconclusive meeting at the PM’s residence at Baluwatar, CPN-UML leader Bamdev Gautam said they made no progress due to the NC’s and the Maoist’s stance over the issues. Asked about his party’s position, Gautam said his party was “flexible” on the stances of the NC and the Maoists.

Settle issues fast, EC urges govt, parties

Kathmandu, October 3, 2007

Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel has appealed to the political parties and the government to resolve the political imbroglio by Thursday if the Constituent Assembly polls are to be held on November 22.

“Whatever decision has to be taken, the political parties should take today. The way out should be sought immediately otherwise the CA election will be uncertain on the scheduled date,” said Pokhrel at Reporters’ Club today. He said the uncertainty would also adversely affect the election preparation process. “Once momentum is broken, it will be very difficult,” added Pokhrel.

Stating that the EC was an independent body, he said it would take decisions only according to its need and mandate. He said the security environment in some parts of the country was not conducive to hold November polls, and urged the government to work on making adequate security arrangements in those pockets.

Asked if EC could hold election on schedule if the electoral system has to be changed as per the Maoists’ demand of Full Proportional Representation System, Pokhrel said it would need the amendments in Interim Constitution and related laws and regulations.