THT 10 YEARS AGO: NC in trouble after opting for republic: Deuba

Nepalgunj, December 12, 2007

Former prime minister and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said today that the NC has stepped into a political quagmire after it made a decision on February 2 to cut off support to the constitutional monarchy and go for a republic.

Deuba was speaking at a press meet organised here by the Banke district chapter of the Press Union Nepal. Stating that efforts were on to resolve the prevailing political deadlock, Deuba said consensus was not emerging because the Maoists were adamant on their stance. He added that the Nepali Congress should give the people the right to decide whether to retain constitutional monarchy or discard it.

He warned that the constituent assembly (CA) polls would be very long in coming if the system of fully proportional CA polls were to adopted.

People made the April uprising successful, Deuba said, adding that the declaration of a republic without taking the people into confidence was invalid at both the national and international levels.

The nation should be made a republic only if the people give a mandate for it in the constituent assembly polls, he said. “Going for fully proportional polls is an uphill task. The whole process would take two to three years.

The more the constituent assembly polls are delayed, the greater the political uncertainty will be,” he said, adding that the peace process also will suffer a setback.

Prachanda hopes for a breakthrough today

Hetauda, December 12, 2007

Maoist supremo Prachanda has said that the country may see a political breakthrough tomorrow.

Speaking at a meet organised by the Revolutionary Journalists Association, Makawanpur, in Hetauda today, he said a new date for the constituent assembly polls must be fixed by December 15 or else the country may plunge into anarchy.

He said he has assured the international community of his party's commitment to CA polls, and added that the nation’s future will be in jeopardy if the palace and foreign powers intensify their activities.

He said the recent resignation of a few Madhesi MPs parliament was a result of erroneous policies pursued by the Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) towards the Madhes.

Prachanda said the move taken by the Madhesi MPs cannot in any way be justified as they should have continued to raise their voice in the parliament. Meanwhile, addressing a press meet in Janakpur, Prachanda said the revolt of Madhesi people against the longstanding despotic and exploitative rule was natural.

Prachanda claimed the Maoists could provide solutions to the issues confronting the Madhes. He said a change of guard in the government is essential and that the deputy prime minister should be from the CPN-Maoist.