HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A joint meeting of Nepali Congress and CPN-UML today decided to expedite talks with Unified CPN-Maoist and other parties with a view to making the commencement of the new Constituent Assembly their first priority.
They said they would focus on discharging the political duty of constitution drafting and government formation successfully as per the fresh mandate.
In their first formal meeting after the CA elections, the NC and UML, which have emerged as the first and second largest parties respectively, decided to begin talks with UCPN-M, the third largest party, from tomorrow.
“We, are different parties with different agendas. As we already have a fresh mandate, the Constituent Assembly is the only legitimate body for resolving them. So, we decided to focus on commencing the CA session at the earliest,” NC joint general secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka told THT. He said the CA will discuss and settle issues such as the UCPN-M demand for probe into suspected rigging cases and UML’s demand for election of a new President.
As UCPN-M has been demanding a probe into suspected rigging in the polls, the two parties will request it to respect the people’s mandate and participate in the CA so as to take its agenda there, said NC and UML sources.
“First, the NC and UML will separately meet UCPN-M leaders before sitting with the UCPN-M together,” said NC Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel after a four-hour meeting of top NC and UML leaders at the office of Peace Fund Secretariat in Babarmahal.
The NC has scheduled a meeting with UCPN-M leaders at the residence of the latter party’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Lazimpat tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, NC and UML briefly discussed the issue of power sharing and election for a new President. They, however, reached understanding on deferring the issues till the UCPN-M is ready to join the CA. They have agreed to make every effort to form the government with the participation of the UCPN-M and other parties.
Asked whether they discussed the issue of election of the President, UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel said, “We have decided to move ahead as per the spirit of the people’s fresh mandate.”
In the three-point decision signed by NC president Sushil Koirala and UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, the two parties promised to move ahead in cooperation to fulfil their political responsibility as per the fresh mandate.