Nov 19 polls in limbo as talks break down
KATHMANDU: Efforts to convince the CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance and bring them on board the election process failed today, throwing the scheduled November 19 polls in a state of limbo. Nonetheless, major political parties seem to be determined to head for polls on the announced date. Leaders of the High Level Political Committee and CPN-M Chairman Baidhya, however, have kept the door for ‘more negotiations’ ajar, despite the fact that chances of consensus were slim.
Both the sides today called on President Ram Baran Yadav separately late in the evening and briefed him about the talks they had held throughout the day. Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that attempts to bring the Baidhya group to the poll process would continue despite today’s failure. Stating that the November polls are imperative to save the country from falling into further crisis, President Yadav urged the Baidhya group to reconsider its stand and join the November polls, according to President’s press adviser Rajendra Dahal.
“Polls have been postponed four times since the dissolution of the last Constituent Assembly. As the country cannot sustain yet another (poll) postponement, both the sides must reach a compromise so as to hold the elections in November,” Dahal quoted the President as telling both the sides. President Yadav also urged the HLPC leaders not to leave any stone unturned to bring the agitating forces on board the poll process, Dahal said.
The major issue that failed today’s talks was resignation of government Chairman Khil Raj Regmi from the post of chief justice. Congress leader Minendra Rijal said the Baidhya group refused to budge from its stance and continued to demand that Regmi should step down as the CJ even though the HLPC had expressed its readiness to reschedule the poll date for November-end, organise a round table conference and expand the Cabinet to induct Baidhya group’s representatives.
“The negotiations got stalled after the HLPC refused to make Regmi step down as CJ. Now we have no option but to intensify our agitation against the polls that other parties are hell bent on holding,” CPN-M leader Dev Gurung said. Gurung wondered as to why UCPN-M Chairman Dahal was not convinced about his party-led alliance’s demand even when other leaders, including Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and UCPN-M’s Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha were positive.
According to Gurung, the CPN-M-led alliance could take part in the election in November only if other parties agree to adopt fully proportional system and make Regmi resign as CJ. “If they cannot accept full PR system, they should make Regmi stand down as CJ and postpone the elections till March-April,” Gurung said. But UML leader Raghuji Pant said, “The talks failed because the Baidhya group did not express their commitment to join the polls in November.”
HLPC asks govt to proceed with poll sans dissenters
KATHMANDU: After the talks with the CPN-Maoist failed to bear fruit, it seems the major political parties have made a mood to go for the Constituent Assembly election without modifying the election schedule. The High Level Political Committee on Tuesday directed the government to proceed all the procedure for November 19 polls even if the agitating-CPN-Maoist and its allies did not take part on the election process.
Nepal: Communist Party Of Nepal-Maoist’s Election Dilemma – Analysis
The splinter group led by Mohan Baidya, the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), has been causing anxiety in Nepal’s political circles for many reasons. First, if CPN-M will join the election to be held in November for the second constituent assembly (CA). Second, what will be the consequences if CPN-M does not join the election? Ironically, in Nepal, even if both issues appear to be mutually exclusive at this stage, the current uncertainty implies that it will significantly influence the political process.
In such a scenario, any attempt to underplay or side step Mohan Baidya’s faction will seriously undermine the legitimacy of the political process required for the CA 2. Legitimacy and consensus are more important as the outcome of the CA 1 were not very encouraging.
Nepal’s Election Dilemma
The fault-line of the election process became visible with the establishment of the current government, led by Chief Justice (CJ) Khil Raj Regmi, through extra constitutional arrangements which were considered necessary to facilitate the election process for wide consensus. However, the onus of conducting free and fair elections is not on the government but on a supra-political body called ‘High Level Political Committee (HLPC)’.
Baidya’s group considers the HLPC and the interim government as merely a ‘political syndicate’, as it is dominated by the major political parties in Nepal. This duality (of elections and an existing mechanism tasked with conducting elections) itself becomes a major contention for the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-M group. However Baidya’s demand for the dissolution of the CJ-led government is myopic as it will amount to a reversal of the electoral process.
Another fault line of the election process is the covert and overt threat of obstructing the November elections by Baidya’s group. Credible or not, the radical faction of Baidya’s group is unlikely to obstruct the constitution-making process as it will further accentuate the political stalemate. It is well known that the only feasible way out of this political impasse in Nepal is to get a fresh mandate through election. Hence, it is necessary to strengthen the negotiations with Baidya’s group and set the right terms to make the election a priority.
CPN-Maoist‚ allies to continue anti-poll campaign
KATHMANDU: The 33-party alliance, led by CPN-Maoist, has accused the chairman of interim election government, Khil Raj Regmi, of prolonging the ongoing political crisis by not giving up the post of Chief Justice. Holding a joint meeting at the CPN-Maoist office on Tuesday, a day after their talks with the government and the major parties guiding it failed, the dissident parties decided not to take part in the forthcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election at the existing state of affairs.
The parties charged that the ‘political syndicate’ of four major parties, which they said is providing patronage to the ‘illegitimate’ Regmi-led government, is responsible for the failure of the talks between the alliance and the parties.
Kavre bus arson: Charge-sheet filed against CPN-Maoist cadre
KAVRE, SEP 17 – The Kavre District Police Office on Monday filed charge-sheet against two CPN-Maoist cadres, who were arrested yesterday in connection with Sunday’s arson attack on a passenger bus in Dhulikhel. CPN-Maoist youth front, National Youth Volunteer Nepal area no. 4 Vce-Cairman Raman Pariyar and Ugratara Janagal Village Committee Chairman Arjun Thapa were arrested from Dhulikhel yesterday morning.
CPN-Maoist cadres vandalize cable TV office
KATHMANDU, Sept 16: Film artists close to CPN-Maoist have vandalized the offices of Nepal Cable TV at Anamnagar on Monday, accusing it of refusing to stop broadcasting Indian channel Zee TV, which had broadcasted a tele-serial that showed that Lord Buddha was born in India.
Gajurel warns of obstructing CA polls if his party bypassed
KATHMANDU, SEP 17 – CPN-Maoist Vice Chairman CP Gajurel has warned of obstructing the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections if his party is bypassed in the elections. He claimed that CPN-Maoist’s agitation will hinder the elections. Leader Gajurel warned that his party would kidnap the candidates who want to file nomination for the elections. “We will announce various stir programmes so as to boycott the elections,” said the CPN-Maoist vice chairman, speaking at a programme organised at Reporters Club in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
He added that the captured candidates would be released gracefully after the deadline to file nomination ends. He went on to say that the motive behind holding the Constituent Assembly (CA) election was to take the nation closer to ‘Sikkimisation’. He accused India of running possible agreements with it. “Nepal’s politics is not in the hands of Nepali people,” said Gajurel. He claimed that former Indian ambassador Jayanta Prasad hosted a party for Nepali leaders a day after reaching the agreement to hold roundtable conference. “Recently, the chances of forging agreement went in vain after the Indian foreign secretary met leaders of the major four political parties,” the CPN-Maoist leader claimed.