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Dahal proposes poll govt under chief justice

  • Party to agitate if this option fails too


The UCPN (Maoist) on Thursday proposed ending the protracted political deadlock by forming a government led by the sitting chief justice and holding elections by the end of May.

The closed session of the party’s seventh General Convention, attended by over 4,100 delegates, unanimously endorsed this ‘formula’ proposed by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The decision is likely to trigger further cross-party discussions, which have remained stuck for months over an inability to pick a common prime ministerial candidate.

Political pundits were closely following the General Convention, after Dahal on Friday pledged to bring forth a non-objectionable formula to end the deadlock. “The party should adopt a policy to go for elections even by forming a neutral government led by the sitting chief justice,” Dahal told the closed session. Though discussions were under way on other options, including a government under a neutral candidate that could be a former chief justice, there is greater possibility of a cross-party agreement on sitting Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi.

The Maoist party has described its proposal as the ‘last option’ to end the deadlock and has warned that it will launch an agitation if this roadmap also fails to lead to consensus. Party Spokesperson Agni Sapkota said all parties are positive on the proposal and that legal hassles on the appointment of the chief justice as the PM can be addressed through consensus.

“If this proposal fails to garner consensus, polls will not be possible. Then, we will go for agitations,” Sapokta told a press meet after the endorsement of Dahal’s political

document at the convention. The document states that the party will adopt the line of institutionalising political achievements, including federalism, republicanism, secularism and inclusive representation, by drafting a new constitution through the CA.

Addressing the closed session on Thursday, Dahal said the party will launch nationwide agitations if a new constitution cannot be drafted through the CA. “The people will launch a movement and make their own decisions if a new constitution cannot be written through the Constituent Assembly,” he said.

The party has said it will declare autonomous federal states under the new protest programme. At the closed session, Dahal said his party stands for federalism based on single identity. However, it is also open to a compromise on federalism based on multiple identities, he added. The Maoist boss, however, said the right to self-determination given to the federal states cannot include the right to secede. The CA was dissolved in May after major parties were divided on how to incorporate issues of ethnicity and sustainability while delineating the federal structure of the country.

Dahal also shed light on the party’s position on the other parliamentary parties, its relationship with India and the split in the party in June. He said the Nepali Congress (NC) represents reactionary forces, the CPN-UML represents the reformists and the breakaway CPN-Maoist represents dogmatism and ancestral communism. Peasants, the lower class, labourers and the lower capitalist class were the party’s core friends, he said.

Blaming Mohan Baidya for the split in the party, Dahal claimed that CPN-Maoist leaders were responsible as they had opted for the line of “unity, struggle and division” rather than “unity, struggle and transformation.” He said there were differences between the two sides on continuing the party along the line of “state capture through revolt.”

“It would be suicidal to stick to the policy of state capture through revolt,” he said. “There is a need for us to give up advocating for a revolt in the changed political context.”

Dahal, however, claimed that the party will never give up on its core agendas and used a powerful rhetoric to explain party cadres on how he ‘safely landed’ the former rebel party.

Dahal credited the Dhobighat alliance between Baburam Bhattarai, Baidya and Narayan Kaji Shrestha for elevating Bhattarai to the post of prime minister, but said the party will become victim to a counter-revolution if internal conflicts were not managed well.

“As our friends with dissenting opinions have already left the party, there is no need to mention anything regarding this,” he said.

Explaining how he had ‘safely landed’ the former rebel party, Dahal said that as the supreme commander, he saw an ambush laid by the enemies and pushed for a counter strategy at the 2005 Chunwang plenum, which decided to make an alliance with the parliamentary parties to fight against absolute monarchy. This alliance resulted in the historic 12-point agreement that later paved way for the abolition of the monarchy and the CA elections. “We foiled the enemies’ ambush by trapping them in a counter-ambush,” he said, assuring cadres that the party will remain committed to its ideology and would never transform into a reformist force like the UML.

On investigations into the conflict-era murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa, Dahal said that the case, along with the arrest of Col Kumar Lama in the UK, were attempts to weaken the UCPN (Maoist).

Dahal supported PM Bhattarai on the controversial Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) signed between Nepal and India in 2011. If there are provisions that are against the national interests, they can be corrected by formulating domestic laws, he said. He also stressed on the need to sign similar agreements with China.

Dahal said the party was firm on scrapping ‘unequal treaties,’ including the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with India. The closed session saw a sharp division between top Maoist leaders—Dahal and Bhattarai on one hand and Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha on the other—over the party’s position on India. Shrestha and other representatives criticised Dahal’s political document for remaining silent on “foreign  intervention” and demanded that the party clarify whether BIPPA was right. Addressing the closing session, Dahal said the party would safeguard national sovereignty.

The party unanimously endorsed Dahal’s political document on Thursday. The paper stipulates completing the new ‘capitalist revolution’ by focussing on production. Dahal has committed to add separate paragraphs on the contribution of the ‘People’s War’ and the People’s Liberation Army in the document.


Posted on: 2013-02-08 08:30