Monday, June 23, 2008

UML-Maoists come closer; agree to move ahead together

In what is seen as an indication of increasing bitterness among the seven party constituents, the two alliance partners Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and Maoists have agreed to move ahead together agreeing to ditch Nepali Congress (NC) in the process, if need be.

At the bilateral meeting of the two largest communist parties, Monday evening, both stressed the need to continue the politics of understanding among seven parties. But they also added a caveat. If the NC does not come to understanding, they will move ahead on their own, the two parties concluded.

A day after the seven party meeting ended inconclusively and without fixing a new date, the UML and Maoists held bilateral meeting in Singhdurbar parliamentary office of UML.

The 'closed door meeting' was participated by Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda,' senior leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal, among other senior leaders of both the parties.

The two parties have also agreed to reject the NC's demand for inclusion of opposition leader in the Security Council. "There is no tradition in democratic countries elsewhere of inducting opposition leader in security council," Khanal said.

He, however, added that issues of power-sharing should not trigger polarisation. "It is no time to have political polarisation," he said.

Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai also blamed NC for the deadlock. "If the NC does not clear the way for the formation of next government, we will have to find an alternative way. The alternative way means everything will be settled through the Constituent Assembly," he said.

After reports that UML and Maoists had agreed to back each other's candidates for the position of president and prime minister, respectively, the NC had indicated it would stay in opposition.

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