Maoists have announced to get out of the government tomorrow. Intense negotiations today were kind of inconclusive but something concrete might come by tomorrow morning which will give reason to Maoist to continue their presence in the cabinet and start the CA elections campaigns. A look into the day’s happenings:
It was a day of intense negotiations and bargaining in Kathmandu today as top leaders of various political parties were engaged in solving the latest political problem in Nepal. Those involved in the talks were mainly from Nepali Congress, CPN Maoist and CPN UML. And there was one ‘surprise’ personality who emerged as the mediator between NC (the Prime Minister) and CPN M (the Chairman- Prachanda) and ruled the FM and TV stations today. The semi-underground general secretary of CPN (Unity Center) Prakash (formal name: Narayan Kaji Shretha) met both top leaders, conveyed one’s message to the other and tried to bring both in an agreeable position. He was in Nepal FM, he was in Kantipur FM, he was in Kantipur TV and he was in BBC Nepali Service briefing reporters with his opinionated updates on the day’s development.
The crux of today’s outcome is this: no concrete development on the negotiations but, as Prakash put it to a FM station, there is still some hope of breaking the deadlock by tomorrow morning, the day Maoists said they would pull out from the government. The lead of the news is that the Prime Minister was firm on his stand on mainly two issues: declaring republic via parliament and opting proportional representation in the upcoming constituent assembly elections. Another bargaining chip came from the house of Prachanda that the Maoist party was ready to accept the new idea floated in the past few days: the parliament declares republic and the CA will endorse it. Koirala countered that with this: Instead of parliament, let the joint public assembly of eight parties declare republic which will be endorsed by the CA. The result: Koirala rejects Prachand’s offer and vice versa. Prachanda’s argument: Our party will loose its credibility if we deviate from out stand this time like we showed flexibility in our previous talks with the government. Koirala’s argument: The parliamentary declaration of republic won’t get international legitimacy. The PR voting system has already been agreed upon amidst disagreements.
FM radios also reported that the Prime Minister was going to issue an statement clarifying his stand on the Maoist 22-points demands but that didn’t happen. Reports say that the Prime Minister has postponed his plan until tomorrow on the request of mediator (Prkash).
It can be expected that tomorrow morning will going to be extremely busy for the top leaders. The optimistic scenario is that Maoists will still be in the cabinet by the end of the day tomorrow and we will see a new agreement between them and the government. What will be that agreement? It won’t be surprising if they go for parliamentary declaration of republic or eight-party assembly Tundihkel declaration. In any case it’s certain that a firm commitment to republic will come. We will also hear them agreeing on bringing out the Nepali Army soldiers from Narayanhitti Palace, the official residence of suspended king Gyanendra.