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Major Nepal party to stay out of govt for now

Publication Date : 07-05-2012


Backtracking from its earlier commitment to join incumbent Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai-led unity government, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), third largest party in the Constituent Assembly, yesterday decided against joining it "for the time being".

The party leadership that was under immense pressure from youth leaders against joining the government accused the Maoist party of "deviating from the spirit of consensus".

"Peace and constitution are our prime concern and we will support the government to materialise them by staying outside the government," UML Spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali said after the party’s Central Committee meeting.

Party insiders, however, said the party has not altogether ruled out the possibilities of joining the government and that it may take a final decision on it soon. They said the decision to not join the government was a tactic to "cool down" the youth leaders’ pressure.

"The Maoist party also made some mistakes while expanding the Cabinet and allocating ministerial portfolios among the coalition partners. But the leaders will correct their mistakes and we will reconsider joining it," said a senior party leader.

The party also urged all political forces to hold discussions on unresolved issues of constitution writing and look for consensus soon so that they are able to promulgate the new constitution within the May 27 deadline.

In the central committee meeting, leaders said PM Baburam Bhattarai committed a blunder by allocating ministerial berths to the Nepali Congress and the Madhesi Morcha without consulting them.

A majority of the party leaders came down heavily on the party leadership and warned them against joining the Bhattarai-led government.

"We issued circulars to the party cadres thrice, stating that the party would not join the government unless the Maoists scrap the four-point agreement signed with the Madhesi Morcha. Why did you decide to join the government prior to the scrapping of the controversial deal," Raghuji Panta questioned the leadership in the meeting.

"Immediately after signing the five-point agreement, the ministries are reconstituted and portfolios fixed, all this by sidelining the UML. We want to condemn such things and have decided to hold talks with the concerned," the party said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the party expressed sadness at the loss of lives in the flash flood in Kaski district on Saturday. Among those killed were Madan Tamrakar, a resident of Sardikhola and her daughter-in-law, both UML cadres. In a statement, the party also demanded the government provide immediate relief and medical expenses to the victims.

Deuba faction miffed

Nepali Congress (NC) leaders close to senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba yesterday vented their ire at the establishment faction’s decision to send ministers to the Baburam Bhattarai-led government without consulting them.

In an informal meeting at Singha Durbar, central members and lawmakers close to Deuba condemned party president Sushil Koirala’s "highhandedness" in sending party General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Suryaman Gurung to the government.

NC central committee member Gopalman Shrestha said the NC must not join the government until contentious issues of the new constitution are settled.

Leaders of the Deuba faction have claimed that intra-party issues should also be addressed before joining the government.

Shrestha, however, said Deuba is ready to hold talks with party President Sushil Koirala on the issue.


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