CA demise sends parties towards fresh polarization
KATHMANDU, May 28: Political parties are headed towards a fresh polarizations in the wake of UCPN (Maoist)-led government ´unilaterally´ declaring a fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections for November following the dissolution of the CA on Sunday.
Various non-Maoist parties including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have decided to jointly fight the Maoist decision to announce a fresh CA election describing it as a conspiracy to "capture state power".
A meeting of various six parties held at the NC headquarters in Sanepa on Monday also demanded that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai step down immediately to pave way for the formation of a national consensus government as the prime minister had already lost both moral and constitutional grounds to remain in office.
Talking to media after the meeting, senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said the ´unilateral´ announcement of election date was brought with an ill-intention. “This is a conspiracy to prolong their stay in powers and hold fresh election under their leadership to achieve their long-stated goal of capturing state legally,” he said.
Nepal said the parties have decided to jointly fight against such Maoist plan. “There is no alternative but to fight against such a conspiracy. We decided to jointly fight against the move,” he further said.
CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, Vice Chairpersons Bamdev Gautam and Bidya Bhandari, General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel and K P Sharma Oli, Rastriya Janashakti Party Chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa, former prime minister Lokendra Bahadur Chanda, CPN-ML General Secretary C P Mainali, People´s Front Nepal Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC, Chure Bhawar Ekta Samaj General Secretary Bhumi Raj Niraula and Nawa Nepal Nirman Party President Moti Lal Dugar participated in the meeting held at the call of NC.
NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel said the meeting concluded that the only way out of the difficult political situation facing the country now was the formation of a national consensus government and an election after necessary amendments to the Interim Constitution. “As many parties were busy in their internal meeting to assess situation after the dissolution of the CA, we have decided to sit again on Tuesday with a participation of all other parties,” he said.
Paudel alleged that Maoists had used indigenous nationalities and Madhesi to thwart the possibility of new constitution within the stipulated deadline. “The Maoists unilaterallydecided to dissolve the CA even as CA Chairman Subas Nembang had floated various options to accomplish the tasks of constitution drafting through a transformed parliament,” he added.
Paudel also argued that there were no constitutional or institutional grounds for the prime minister to declare a new constitution. “The activities of the Maoists have proved that they are bent on creating political vacuum by dissolving people-elected bodies and ultimately capturing the state powers,” he further said.
Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai also held a separate meeting with various 26 political parties in his official residence in Baluwatar on Monday.
According the prime minister’s political advisor Devendra Paudel, Dr Bhattarai briefed the parties about the efforts made to forge consensus till the end and the alternatives they were left with in view of the expiry of the term of CA. “Most of the party leaders welcomed the decision of the prime minister to announce date for fresh election,” said Paudel.
Meanwhile, Broader Madhesi Front (BMF), a cross party Madhes based alliance, said Bhattarai´s decision to announce fresh elections violated the provision of the interim constitution.
"The prime minister´s step is unconstitutional and shows hints of totalitarianism," a statement issued by BMF said. "The prime minister´s move has pushed the nation towards further confusion and uncertainity and created a situation where the people´s rights could be restricted."
BMF demanded the prime minister´s resignation and formation of a national concensus government to oversee the elections.