Nepali Times
Headline
Easy way out

SUBASH DEVKOTA


Two months after the resignation of the Maoist-led coalition, it's not just the new government and parliament that are stuck: the whole country has ground to a halt.

There is a simple way out of this stalemate. The NC and UML just have to agree to a Maoist proposal to have Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal make a speech in parliament containing the following sentence: "The Maoists regard the president's move on the army chief as unconstitutional?"

But the UML and NC have said there is a legal issue with calling the president's move "unconstitutional" because that would make the current coalition also unconstitutional.

"That's all that is holding things up," the prime minister's press adviser, Bishnu Rijal, told Nepali Times on Thursday.
The Big Three have been meeting all week trying to find a compromise formula, but have found it difficult to untangle themselves from their rigid positions on the president's reinstatement of the army chief on 4 May, the move that precipitated this crisis.

What has complicated matters is that the Maoists have had to deal not just with the NC and UML, but also with a radical faction that doesn't want any dealings with the other parties. At the Politburo meeting this week, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal managed to get a compromise declaration to form a 'nationalist, republican and leftist national united government'.

"We agreed that if there is a guarantee that the president's unconstitutional move is addressed in parliament, we are willing to help form a united national government," Maoist Politburo member Devendra Poudel explained. He said his party would stake the claim to lead a future government, but added a decision on that hadn't yet been made.

With a solution so close, most analysts say it is irresponsible for the leaderships of the parties to play politics while the country descends further into lawlessness. The constitution-writing process is behind schedule, the peace process is frozen and at this rate the budget is sure to be delayed.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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