THT 10 YEARS AGO: PM Koirala falls back on alliance

Kathmandu, October 2, 2007

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has shown an inclination of falling back on political allies to find a solution to the crisis thrown up by his stance in favour of the mixed electoral system and the CPN-M’s demand for an all-out proporational representation (PR) system.

Apart from sticking to the mixed election system, Koirala is also insisting that the fate of the monarchy be decided only in the first meeting of the constituent assembly.

However, while Prachanda is not averse to making do with a parliamentary resolution on the fate of monarchy, he has made it clear that the Maoists will not join the electoral process until the other parties agree on all-out proportional representation.

Meanwhile, an indication that Koirala is once again falling back on allies to have the CPN-Maoist back down on its demand came today when Baluwatar started calling top alliance leaders, including Prachanda, informing about an all-party meeting. The meeting could be called early tomorrow. The agenda will be finding a way out of the crisis which the SPA leaders could not resolve on Sunday, with Prachanda insisting on all-out PR and Koirala sticking to the mixed system.

The CA polls could face a threat if the CPN-M does not agree to the mixed electoral system before the Friday deadline. Koirala is ready to push a resolution on the future of monarchy if the Maoists give up their demand for PR system.

Scribes hit the streets against disruption, vandalism in Kantipur

Kathmandu, October 2, 2007

Hundreds of journalists and professionals marched on the streets here today protesting the disruption in Kantipur Publications and vowing to face any consequences to protect press freedom, even as the Home Ministry in a statement today expressed its commitment to bring those involved in vandalising the Kantipur Publications’ press to book.

Home Minister KP Sitaula, in a statement, said he would take action against those involved in vandalism of property at Kantipur Publications. They demonstrated with pamphlets and black banners against what they called the Maoists’ “absolutism” and the attack on freedom of the press. This, they said, is an indication of their “downfall”, which king Gyanendra faced last year for his “anti-press attitude”.

Journalists, who converged into a mass meeting at the Maitighar Mandala after the rally from New Baneswor, condemned the attack on Kantipur Publications. “King Gyanendra misused security forces to curb press freedom during his regime. Now, the Maoists are misusing the All Nepal Trade Union Federation members,” Bishnu Nisthuri, President of FNJ, said.

UML leader Raghuji Pant said the Maoists would be branded as “anti-people” if they follow in footsteps of king Gyanendra.