THT 10 years ago: Prachanda talks to Mukherjee about stalemate

Kathmandu, October 31, 2007

Maoist chairman Prachanda and his deputy Dr Baburam Bhattarai this evening met Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee at the Indian Embassy and discussed the “current political deadlock.”

Chairman Prachanda and Dr Bhattarai entered the Embassy at around 4:30 pm and left the place after 90 minutes. “It is a general discussion on Nepal’s current political deadlock that has remained unresolved for quite sometime,” Prachanda told media persons after emerging from the meeting with Mukharjee.

Both the Maoist leaders met Mukherjee one hour after Mukherjee met PM GP Koirala at the latter’s office in Baluwatar. Prachanda said there was a political deadlock and that they were still working to end it through understanding. The Maoist leaders were scheduled to meet the PM this evening, but could not do so due to lack of time.

Prachanda said they would meet the PM tomorrow morning. “Let us hope the deadlock will be over by tomorrow either by voting in the parliament or by other means,” Prachanda said. He, however, declined to give details of what transpired between them and the Indian envoy. When further pressed to elaborate, Prachanda said: “We have nothing much to share with you”

Parties fail to reach consensus on Maoists’ proposals

Kathmandu, October 31, 2007

The special session of today’s parliament has been extended for tomorrow after the major political parties failed to come to a consensus on the Maoists’ proposals on republic and fully proportional electoral system.

Leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-Maoist discussed for more than an hour at the NC parliamentary party office in the Singha Durbar premises on the proposals, but could not make headway since the “Maoists stuck to their stand”. “We could not make headway today.

Our efforts failed to convince the Maoists,” Minister of Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel said after the meeting. He, however, said that the Maoists “showed signs of flexibility” on the issue of republic, but “were rigid on the electoral system.” The parties also discussed on 60-40 percentage electoral system, but could not come to a conclusion.

“We are yet to finalise any formula,” NC lawmaker Dr Minendra Rizal said. According to the formula, while 60 per cent would be given for PR, the rest 40 per cent would be for direct electoral system. Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang announced that the House would continue tomorrow at 1 pm after some 20 lawmakers spoke during today’s session.