KATHMANDU: The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML today told the Unified CPN-Maoist that forming a national unity government as per the five-point agreement reached on May 3 among four major political forces was the only way to rebuild fractured trust among major parties.
“One of the points of the May 3 deal clearly calls for resignation of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai before May 27 and formation of a government under NC. As the Maoists have now lost their credibility, implementing this can only create an atmosphere of trust to begin dialgoue anew to reach a deal on issues related to the constitution,” NC Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel told The Himalayan Times today after a meeting of four major political forces — UCPN-M, NC, UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front — first time since the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on May 27.
“But Maoist chairman still wanted simultaneous negotiations on all issues. We, however, said it was difficult to trust the Maoists until they were ready for a unity government as per the May 3 deal,” said Paudel.
According to UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said his party was ready for Prime Minister Bhattarai’s resignation for the sake of consensus. The Maoist chairman said his party was ready to show maximum flexibility and urged the opposition parties not to understand that the Maoists wanted to cling to power. “Our first priority is consensus, not the government,” Dahal was quoted by sources as telling the NC and UML leaders during the meeting.
Maoist chairman Dahal, after the meeting, said, “I appreciate NC’s initiative to resume talks as there is no alternative to consensus to resolve the constitutional and political crisis. We should reach a solution by reviewing the mistakes that we have committed.”
“Formation of a national unity government as per the five-point deal of May 3 can open doors for consensus on other issues as well,” said UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal.
Emerging from the meeting, the leaders of all the political forces told the media that the four forces should be united to give an outlet to the constitutional and political crisis facing the country.
Sources said NC President Sushil Koirala, hinting at the vertical split in Dahal’s party, told Maoist leaders that the UCPN-M could go through more problems in future as it had continuously breached the past agreements, including the 12-point agreement signed in 2005.
NC and UML leaders also told Maoist leaders that their serious attention had been drawn by government’s arbitrary decisions to promote and transfer government employees and police officials against the election code of conduct.