Click on the pic to see the poll Schedule 1 and here is Schedule 2
This and the past week are witnessing interesting developments on the political front. The Maoist drama and its confusing and contradictory statements regarding elections have overshadowed the past several days. Amid all the uncertainties the election commission publicized the schedule of the Constituent Assembly polls that has helped to propel the election electin politics to new height. Then one UN honcho says he thinks elections are possible on November 22 which is also a matter of satisfaction. Also comes the news that the cabinet on Monday (20 Aug) has decided to nationalize within 15 days the property of the late King Birendra and his family and property inherited by King Gyanendra. Decided? Didn’t the government decide to do the same months ago? Still better to be optimistic and we are thiking positive. Here is the roundup of key headlines (and leads) of the past few days just in case if you have missed them:
Maoist U-turns on poll pre-conditions continue
KATHMANDU, Aug 20- The CPN Maoist renewed its call for a republic and a proportional election system as pre-conditions for the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls. However, in an ironic twist, Maoist Chairman Prachanda has issued a press statement floating a 22-point pre-requirement proposal to “ensure” that the CA polls are held on November 22. Prachanda has warned of strong protests including ‘people’s action’, ‘political’ strikes and public meetings in case there is no action on the 22-point proposal. The two Maoist pre-conditions – declaration of a republic before going for elections and a proportional election system – are not new and were incidentally already decided upon by an eight-party meet long ago. The EPA had decided in favor of a mixed election system and finalizing the fate of the monarchy at the fist meeting of the constituent assembly. (continue reading this article here or click on More read rest of this blog post)
Royal property to be nationalized in 15 days
By Yuvraj Acharya
KATHMANDU, Aug 20- The cabinet meeting held Monday after a long gap decided to nationalize within 15 days the property of the late King Birendra and his family and property inherited by King Gyanendra. The government will nationalize forests, parks, palaces and farmland owned by the royal family, except for King Gyanendra’s personal property. The meeting formed a five-member committee headed by Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula to accomplish the task of royal property nationalization. The committee includes Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Dev Gurung, Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Bikram Nembang and Physical Planning and Construction Minister Hisila Yami. (continue reading)
Q & A With Maoist Chairman Prachanda
Q. What will be the status of the Koirala government if, in case, the elections don’t take place?
Prachanda: There won’t be the Koirala government if elections don’t take place. Not only will Koirala’s government go, the country will face a huge disaster.
Q. What kind of disaster?
Prachanda: The country will be caught in a complex civil war if the CA polls are not held in proper manner.
Q. Civil war?
Prachanda: Yes, a civil war. The series of events have shown that. At that time the scale of international forces’ intervention will be very large. Many people even indicate Nepal’s fate as that of Afghanistan and Iraq. But not Iraq or Afghanistan, Nepal could turn into a Vietnam of the 21st century. This means, there is a possibility that the Nepali people will once again have to revolt against international intervention. What I believe is, if the peace process does not move forward in a proper manner, yet another people’s revolt is a must.
Q. Are you in a position to organize that sort of people’s revolt?
Prachanda: The people of Nepal have to do that. We, on our part, could of course try to lead the revolt.
Q. But, how much possibility is there of deferring the polls to Baisakh (mid-April to mid-May) through an agreement by amending the constitution?
Prachanda: I don’t think so. It does not happen every time. There won’t be any situation where the Nepali people will tolerate the postponement of polls time and again.
Q. That means, if polls don’t happen in November, there is no possibility of polls at all in the near future?
Prachanda: I think it won’t be wrong to draw such a conclusion.
Q. For what the people’s revolt you are talking about?
Prachanda: Firstly, it is for holding of the polls. If that could not happen, it is for transferring all the power to the people.
Q. Power in the people’s hands means power in your hands?
Prachanda: Power in our hands means power in the hands of those who represent the people
Q. When are you launching your people’s revolt?
Prachanda: The process has already begun. Our comrades who are ministers have outlined certain points and given an ultimatum to quit the government if those points are not met. This itself is the beginning of the revolt.
Q. What will be the eight-party equation if the elections do not take place?
Prachanda: I doubt that the coalition will remain intact if the elections do not take place. Either the eight parties will again launch a fresh movement or some of the parties will join hands with the reactionary forces and some will reach out to the people.
Q. What will be the role of the PLA in the revolt?
Prachanda: The PLA cannot be used in course of the people’s movement. But, anything can happen if a situation arises wherein the country heads towards the people’s revolt. The PLA may not remain inside the ‘cantonments’. It will come out.
Q. What will happen to the UN monitoring/ supervision process if the election does not take place on the scheduled date?
Prachanda: The agreement was for nearly one year. If the election does not take place within that period then the UN’s role would come to an end. There will be no need of the UN to stay here. (continue reading)
EC releases CA election schedule
KATHMANDU, Aug 19 – The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday made public the election schedule for first-past-the-post (FPTP), as well as proportional electoral (parallel) systems for Constituent Assembly election. All candidates who wish to contest for the 240 seats in FPTP should file nominations at the respective District Election Offices on October 5 from 10:00 am to 5 pm. The election office will publish the final name list of candidates on October 10 and provide election symbols on October 11. Thereafter, each candidate will be able to campaign for 39 days. However, EC has given only 17 campaigning days for candidates for the 240 seats in the parallel system. According to EC, political parties should submit a closed list of their candidates at the EC on September 30 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. (continue reading)
‘Security good to hold Nov polls’
KATHMANDU, Aug 19 – At a time when some political parties are hinting at deferring the Constituent Assembly elections again by raising the bogey of deteriorating security situation, a top UN official on Sunday gave the thumbs up to the security situation here. “At this point we think elections can be carried out quite fairly, that people will feel secure, and that in the end the result will reflect the will of the Nepalese people,” said B Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary- general for Political Affairs (the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs) at a press conference at the Tribhuvan International Airport before his departure. “That’s our goal.” (continue reading)