Days after the government and the protesting United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) struck a crucial deal on Feb 27,2008 (see inside if you haven’t already!) the political parties have started their Constituent Assembly Elections campaigns all over the country. The Maoists party who will be participating in the elections campaign for the first time after a decade long armed conflict remain the centre of attention for Nepalese within and outside the country. In his maiden campaign CPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda appealed to locals of Kirtipur Municipality and surrounding areas of Kathmandu Constituency-10 to cast their votes for himself and his party during the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election to accomplish the final revolution.
The interest of the international community on the latest developments cannot be ignored either. More so, when is our neighbor India we are talking about.News has it that the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankhar Mukherjee flew to New Delhi night to brief his government on the latest political developments here.He is scheduled to hold discussions with high-ranking Indian government officials on the latest political developments including the situation in the aftermath of signing of the agreement between Nepal government and the agitating Madhesi groups. The Indian Embassy no doubt states that is only a regular meeting.
As some parties are now engaged in erasing graffiti complying with the Election Commission guidelines a trend of quitting the parties is on the rise. Six lawmakers from the Nepali Congress and one from Rastriya Prajatantra Party resigned from their parties and parliament on Monday to join the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF).More here
Whatever the change of events the election fever has caught the nation. And it looks as the elections are finally around the corner !
For the record: The 8 point Deal Between the Government and UDMF
1. The government will declare martyrdom for those killed during the Madhes agitation and provide proper compensation for the injured who haven’t been compensated yet. Similarly, expenses will be provided for treatment for those injured during the agitation, one million rupees will be provided as compensation to the family of those killed during the agitation and those arrested will be released immediately.
2. Nepal will be a federal republican democratic state by accepting the wish of the Madhesi people for an autonomous Madhes state and wish of people of other regions for a autonomous state with federal structure. There will be distinct power sharing between the centre and the region in the federal structure on the basis of list. The regions will have complete autonomy and authority. The elected Constituent Assembly will devise a way to apply the formation of such states and the rights attributed to the region and the centre while keeping national sovereignty, unity and integrity intact.
3. The current 20 percent legal provision mentioned in Article 7, sub-article 14 of the Constituent Assembly Member Election Act-2054 will be increased to 30 percent.
4. The government will compulsory appoint, promote and nominate Madhesi, indigenous communities, women, Dalits, backward areas and minority communities to ensure proportional participation in security bodies and all organs of the state.
5. The entry of Madhesi and other groups into the Nepal Army will be ensured to give the army a national and inclusive structure.
6. The government along with the UDMF urged all armed agitating groups in the Terai to join the peaceful political process and come to talks to resolve all problems. The Nepal government will take immediate steps to create a favourable environment for the same. We appeal everyone to conduct the April 10 elections in a peaceful, fair, non-violent and terror-free manner.
7. The Nepal government will immediately implement the agreement reached with the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) on August 13 last year including releasing those under police detention, dismissing cases against MRPF leaders and activists.
8. All the agitation programmes called by the UDMF will be immediately withdrawn.