Road-map to ensure polls must: Martin

Kathmandu, November 6, 2007

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Ian Martin today said the parties should agree on a road-map to ensure that the constituent assembly elections are held on whatever new date is fixed.

Martin said CA polls were an “integral element” of the peace process and that a credible election cannot be held unless the peace process is on a “solid footing.”

Addressing his first press conference after returning from the meeting of the Security Council today, Martin said Nepali politicians and the civil society had to analyse why the elections were put off twice and what were the requirements to ensure a successful electoral process. He said the UN was strongly committed to assist the peace process here but since it was a process, whose success depended on Nepalis, the international community could only assist in the manner in which its support was requested.

He expressed UN support to the implementation of the peace process and agreements reached, assist a discussion on the future of the country’ssecurity sector, including a managed transition from the temporary Maoists’ cantonments to barracks of the Nepal Army to long-term solutions, and greater advisory support to promoting public security.

On the UNMIN’s extended role here, he said it is for the Nepalis to decide what role the UN should play. He added that the Secretary-General and the Security Council have assured him to extend the assistance requested.

Prachanda confers with Nepal

Kathmandu, November 6, 2007

Maoist leader Prachanda and CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal met today and dwelled on what transpired in the parliament on Sunday. Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the way the Left parties joined hands and got two motions passed.

“The joint efforts of the CPN-M and CPN-UML saw the motions passed. The leaders discussed ways in which the motions can be implemented by the government in the next session,” Chief Whip of the Maoists, Dinanath Sharma, said. Nepal and Prachanda reaffirmed commitment to keep the seven-party unity intact and hold constituent assembly polls.

The meeting is significant since Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala is obliged to present the relevant proposals in the house during the regular session as directed by the parliament at the end of Sunday’s voice vote. The day also saw the Maoist leadership reviewing the “achievement recorded” in the special session of the parliament.

“The meeting was dedicated to what transpired during the special session. We have taken the development as positive. The party leadership is keen to have the government implement the directives of the parliament,” said Sharma.