THT 10 YEARS AGO: Maoists may quit parliament after Oct 29

Nuwakot, October 23, 2007

Senior leader of CPN (Maoist) Dr Baburam Bhattarai said his party would quit the parliament if the special session of the parliament on October 29 failed to pass his party’s proposal to declare republic and endorse fully proportional representation system of election.

He said this at a press conference in Nuwakot’s Kakani prior to leaving for Kathmandu. He was here for five days to celebrate Dashain. Dr Bhattarai claimed that the same old parliamentary parties and their leaders had failed to work in accordance with the mandate of Jana Andolan II.

He said his party had proposed to declare republic and endorse fully proportional representation election system to defeat the mindset of these old leaders, who enjoyed majority backing in the parties. The Maoists quit the government on September 18 after putting forth 22-point demands, including declaration of republic and endorsement of fully proportional representation system for polls through the parliament.

Dr Bhattarai claimed that these parliamentary parties were trying to save monarchy while talking of republic. When asked whether the Maoists were responsible for poll deferral, thus hindering the declaration of republic, he said that would be clear after their motions were put to vote on October 29.

Dr Bhattarai spent five days in Kakani to celebrate Dashain with his wife Hisila Yami. They were later joined by Maoist MPs Hit Bahadur Tamang and Bhagwati Pradhan.

Parleys have yielded nothing: Nepal

Kathmandu, October 23, 2007

The stance of the NC and the Maoists on the issues of republic and proportional system of elections has not changed despite days of intense parleys, CPN (UML) general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said today.

Nepal met top leaders of the NC and the Maoists in the past few days to avoid voting in the parliament over the issues, but the talks have yielded no results. “We have not been able to get to a meeting point; the respective parties have not changed their positions,” Nepal told this daily in an exclusive interview today.

He, however, said the Maoists should not be left out in the process, not even from the government. This contradicts with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s words that the government has no immediate plan to bring the Maoists back to the government.

The UML, Nepal said, is for peace process as well as early polls, primarily before March 2008. Asked whether his party is thinking of going to the elections without the Maoists, he said, “I will say it when the time comes. Now, the Maoists should not be left out and the seven-party unity should not break.”

He disagreed with the Maoists that the king is a threat to Constituent Assembly elections.