Focus on constitution-making
Making and breaking of a party has become a regular norm of the Leftist forces in the country. Since its inception nearly 70 years ago, the communist party of Nepal has broken into many pieces and we currently have more than a dozen active communist parties. Some like UCPN (Maoist) and a breakaway CPN-Maoist have played a crucial role in overthrowing monarchy and bringing about the current changes while many other fringe parties have struggled for survival.
One may not support the overarching goal of an autocratic communist party, but the communist parties mentioned here have played a significant role to usher the country into a new era, wherein the fight to end the age-old feudal system and guarantee the rights of the traditionally-marginalized groups has just begun. In this context, the latest announcement of the working alliance between the five communist parties is a welcome development if it sticks to the goal of constitution-making through the Constituent Assembly (CA). The five parties—UCPN (Maoist), CPN-Maoist, CPN (Unified), CPN (Maoist) and Revolutionary Communist Party Nepal (RCPN)—have come together, at least at the working level, which observers believe could lead to their unification. This latest alliance has come at a time when its leading partner UCPN (Maoist) headed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal has also tied up with Madhesi and Janajati parties to form a broader alliance to fight for federalism with identity. However, it would be too soon to assume that these alliances would bear fruit in the days ahead.
There are people who are skeptical about the overall goal of these alliances, as it depends on how flexible it will be in dealing with the all-important issue of nature and number of federal states. There is no doubt that the five-party alliance of the communist parties and the alliance between UCPN (Maoist) and Madheshi and Janajati parties represented in the parliament have a set objective of identity-based federalism and the “pro-people” constitution as claimed by Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist. However, identity-based federalism and federalism that recognizes the existence of all the ethnic communities are two different things.
The previous CA failed because the parties in favor of the marginalized communities lacked proper homework on what they wanted. The latest alliance should therefore come clear on the modalities of the new federal states before embarking on the movement they vowed to undertake. One thing is sure that the constitution-making process would not be completed without addressing the issues of the groups that have been marginalized at the hands of the state for a long time. We are in favor of transforming the Nepali society from the traditional uni-cultural to the multi-cultural one. Only this would then help bring about the major shift in the system of governance where the marginalized groups would have equal stake in the state affairs and end the rule of so-called Hindu high caste elites. And also, the capital-centric power will be decentralized to the grassroots level.
Therefore, we cautiously welcome the working alliance reached between various like-minded parties and express our belief that the overall goal of the alliance should be the promulgation of the constitution through the current CA. Though the Baidya-proposed all-party political conference could be held to bring them on-board the constitution-making process, the decisions should be taken within the CA itself with all sides being flexible to compromise. Bypassing the body of people’s representatives set up through a popular vote would not only jeopardize the constitution-making process but also put the alliance in doubt.
Mani Thapa to chair Maoist alliance for a month
KATHMANDU: The alliance of five Maoist parties on Monday appointed Revolutionary Communist Party-Nepal (RCP-N) Mani Thapa as Chairperson of their alliance. A meeting of the Working Alliance Committee that comprises of UCPN-Maoist, CPN-Maoist, CPN (Maoist), CPN-United and RCP-N held in Kathmandu this morning elected him to lead the alliance for a month. The parties have already agreed to share the chairmanship among them on rotational basis every month. Meanwhile, the Committee also decided to hold an interaction on possibility and challenges of ‘people’s constitution’ on July 9 in the Capital. UCPN-M’s Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-M’s Mohan Baidhya, CPN (M)’s Matrika Yadav, CPN-United’s Pari Thapa and RCP-N’s Mani Thaha had attended the meeting.
Left alliance to hold interaction on federalism
KATHMANDU, June 30: Five communist parties including the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-Maoist have decided to hold an extensive interacton on federalism, the most complex issue in the constitution making process. A meeting today of the five parties held at Anamnagar in Kathmandu decided to hold an interaction titled ´People´s federal constitution making: possibilities and challenges”, according to General Secretary of Revolutionary Communist Party Mani Thapa.
The program is aimed at forging a common view among the experts and the political leadership on issues like restructuring of the state, forms of governance and judicial system that are regarded as complex issues in the constitution making process, added Thapa. An assessment shall also be made of the reasons behind the dissolution of the previous Constituent Assembly and the functioning of the present CA. The meeting today also discussed about the positive impact made by the working unity reachd among the five parties on June 28.
Likewise, the parties also discussed the annual policy and programmes of the government presented by the government before Legislature-Parliament on Sunday. UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-Maoist Chair Mohan Baidhya, CPN (Unified) General Secretary Pari Thapa, CPN (Maoist) Coordinator Matrika Yadav and General Secretary of Revolutionary Communist Party Thapa were present in the meeting.
Man accused of torching bus set free
KAVRE: Kavre District Court today gave a clean chit to Raman Pariyar, a CPN-Maoist cadre, who was awaiting trial in connection with the torching of a passenger bus last year. A single bench of District Judge Gopal Bastola today acquitted him of the crime. Last year, on September 15, a group of people, including Pariyar, had allegedly torched a bus en-route to Melamchi from Kathmandu at Dhulikhel for defying a bandh enforced by the CPN-Maoist party in ‘Tamsaling region’ while passengers were still on board. Citing Pariyar’s involvement, the office of the district government attorney had filed a charge sheet against him.
On October 4, a hearing presided by Bastola himself had remanded Pariyar to custody citing the possibility of his involvement in the incident. Pariyar was released after 10 months in police custody. He is a district member of the CPN-M-aligned National Youth People’s Volunteers Nepal. Police had arrested only Pariyar in connection with the incident. The bus owner had demanded one million rupees compensation for the damage.