Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Nepal - after boykott CPN-Maoist ‘ready’ for stir if CA entry fails
KATHMANDU, DEC 04 – The CPN-Maoist that boycotted the Constituent Assembly election has planned to give continuity to its erstwhile programmes of protest if the major political parties fail to address its demands. The party leadership, which is holding its politburo meeting to decide agenda for the upcoming Central Committee meeting, wants the party’s “dignified” representation and an all-party conference as minimum conditions to joining the new CA. The party is expected to hold the CC meet soon to devise its strategy. Leaders said the meeting is likely to be dominated by calls for struggle on the streets or the Assembly since the leadership floated “differing views on the party’s future political course”.
While some leaders including Vice-chairman CP Gajurel are for struggle by joining the CA and the Cabinet, others including Secretary Netra Bikram Chand believe the party should choose streets over the CA that it deemed “meaningless”. During its formation, the party had officially termed the CA as meaningless as “it would fail to promulgate a new constitution”. “The possibility is that the party will now choose a middle path demanding a roundtable conference and minimum understanding on the contentious issues of the new constitution for joining the CA,” said a CPN-Maoist politburo member. The CPN-Maoist leadership is currently in backdoor negotiations with major parties to join the CA. Though the party has not made any formal announcement, sources say they have demanded an equal number of seats as the UCPN (Maoist) got in the election.
Gajurel said that the party will bring its official position only after the CC meet. He added that the party is positive about collaborating with major parties on constitution-writing if they respect politics of consensus. During the meeting, several politburo members asked the leadership not to rush for negotiations unless the intention of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML becomes clear. They suspect that the two parties may be conspiring to foil the past political achievements. “The power was transferred to them [NC and UML] through selection, not election. We are waiting to see if they will really choose politics of consensus or slaughter past achievements,” said Maoist leader Hari Bhakta Kandel.