THT 10 YEARS AGO: Major players make all the right noises

Kathmandu, August 28, 2007

The Nepali Congress leadership today called the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of the party to finally set the tone for the upcoming constituent assembly polls.

The much awaited meeting, which has been called for Thursday morning, will tackle issues ranging from forming teams to draft the election manifesto to deciding who all will get party tickets. The nature of the manifesto will decide the party’s stand on democratic republic and ceremonial monarchy.

“The meeting will recommend as many as 480 candidates for tickets,” said NC CWC member Laxman Ghimire. He added that it would also form a team to look into designing and preparing election related literature and see to it that the same reaches every constituency on time.

The team could be led by any of the two general secretaries. However, the team that will pick candidates will be headed by Vice President Sushil Koirala. Although candidates are generally finalized by Parliamentary Board of the party, the team headed by Koirala will be recommending the names.

“The committee could contribute to the task of picking the candidates by evolving criteria that must be followed when it comes to put anyone on party ticket. This will render the task for Parliamentary Board easier,” Laxman added.

Other prominent issues on the agenda include the latest campaign launched by the CPN-Maoist and its continued intransigence to return the property confiscated during the insurgency.

MJF demands to be met after polls: PM

Kathmandu, August 28, 2007

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today urged the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) leadership to cooperate with the government by withdrawing all protest programmes, and its ultimatum, to ensure free and fair November 22 constituent assembly polls.

Baluwatar sources said Prime Minister Koirala told MJF president Upendra Yadav that all their demands would be addressed and resolved after the CA elections were conducted.

The source added that the PM asked them to resolve all differences through dialogue and asked MJF not to obstruct the constituent assembly poll process while Yadav raised suspicion on the fairness of the polls without taking agitating parties into confidence.

The MJF delegation, led by Yadav, this morning reached the PM’s official residence to “formally inform” him about their ultimatum to start a fresh peaceful movement from September 6 as decided by its central committee meeting held in Birgunj on August 22-23, and their demands to be fulfilled by the government.

The MJF is for provision of full proportional representation system of election based on the population distribution, provision of autonomous state with rights to self-determination and democratic federal republic.