KATHMANDU, Oct 18: CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and other leaders of the party have held UCPN (Maoist) leaders responsible for prolonging the political deadlock by flip-flopping in their stance between holding fresh elections and reviving the dissolved Constituent Assembly (CA).
Khanal said UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was creating confusion and adding uncertainty to the political discourse by floating one proposal after another within the span of a few weeks.
"The UCPN (Maoist) party campaigned for elections for some weeks and then its chairman lobbied for CA revival. This has added confusion to current politics," Khanal said at a function organized by the UML´s youth wing in Kathmandu, Wednesday. "The only way now to end the confusion is to go for fresh elections."
He claimed that no one could predict when Dahal would come up with a new proposal or switch back to an old one already rejected by himself.
Khanal argued that another reason why elections have become essential is that "society has undergone massive changes" since the latest elections.
Lately, Dahal has been lobbying for reinstating the CA even though the 601-member body saw its demise on May 27 without promulgating a new constitution.
While Dahal has been seeking the support of other parties to revive the CA, leaders from Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML are divided between the two options-- going for fresh elections or reviving the CA.
CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel, at a separate gathering, told journalists that resurrecting the dead CA was not practical and described the ongoing arguments over the issue as merely academic.
Pokharel argued that reviving the CA was not possible on political, constitutional and moral grounds. He also said one must not forget about the Supreme Court ruling in this connection. "The apex court has categorically said that the CA can´t be extended any further beyond May 27 . Reviving that body in contravention of the apex court ruling would be tantamount to contempt of court," Pokharel explained.
The party´s spokesman, Pradeep Gyawali, said he believed Dahal´s proposal to revive the CA was a Maoist ploy to prolong the transitional period and continue in power longer.
At one point the UML and NC had said they might opt for CA revival if the parties were able to resolve the disputes in constitution writing prior to the revival.
"Our firm stance was that the basis of agreement should be the May 15 deal reached among the major parties. As both the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based parties have already turned down the proposal, there is no longer any relevance to reviving the CA," said Gyawali.