Nepal Update: Today's Political Developments

For the record:
Maoists ask UML to reconsider pull-out from govt: A day after the CPN-UML, humiliated in the April 10 polls, pulled out of the government citing that the mandate was against them staying in the government, CPN Maoist chairman Prachanda met the UML’s Madhav Kumar Nepal, who resigned from the General Secretary after the defeat, at the latter’s residence in Koteshwor today. During the half-an-hour long meeting Prachanda is learnt to have requested Nepal to join the new Maoist-led government to be formed soon. Following Prachanda’s request, Nepal said that the decision comes from the meeting of UML Standing Committee (politburo) adding the UML is committed to the seven-party unity.

Prachanda was of the assertion that even though the CPN-Maoist has won the election it needs collaboration of other parties in running the government. Acording to a source, the two leaders reached a tacit understanding for a “working cooperation” between the leftist parties. Nepal is reported to have told Prachanda that they should go ahead and form a new government since the people have given them clear mandate for this. Maoists second-in-command Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai was also present at the meeting.

Nepali Congress, with a note of dissent, supports the Maoist victory: Nepali Congress today said that the Nepali people did not participate in the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in a free and fair manner although it also said that the party will not deny the election process on the whole as it has been shouldered with the huge responsibility of institutionalising development, peace and the democratic process. The party has also decided not to challenge the overall results and process of the historic elections.

The Party has also decided not to quit the Seven-Party led interim government up until the formation of new government, though the party activists have been putting pressure on the leadership to back out of the government. In a press meet organised today at the party central office in Lalitpur, party publicity coordinator and central member Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said the CA eletion was very important to institutionalise democracy. Mahat, however, added that voters could not exercise their voting rights in the election in a free and fair atmosphere.

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