Maoist parties closer to working alliance deal

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu
Maoist parties closer to working alliance deal

Jun 21, 2014-

The UCPN (Maoist) and four other Maoist parties that are outside the Constituent Assembly decided on Saturday to forge a working alliance in order to have a common voice on some key contentious issues of the constitution being drafted.

The main purpose of the alliance is said to push for a “pro-people constitution with ethnic identity-based federalism that liberates oppressed and marginalised communities”. The alliance is seen as a move by the UCPN (M), the third largest party in the CA, to increase its “bargaining power” in the constitution drafting process.

A meeting of  UCPN (Maoist), CPN-Maoist, the CPN (Maoist) led by Matrika Yadav, the Revolutionary Communist Centre led by Mani Thapa and the CPN (United) led by Pari Thapa formed a five-member taskforce to expedite homework for the alliance. Cross-party Maoist leaders said they have almost similar positions on key contents of the constitution and will come up with a document on it.

The five-member team will finalise the name, code of conduct and procedure of the mechanism within a week. Another meeting possibly on Thursday is likely to announce the mechanism.

The alliance will also raise issues related to national sovereignty and the problems faced by the people. “Five parties have agreed to work together on contemporary political as well as other issues,” said CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung. Except the UCPN (Maoist), the other forces oppose the idea of the CA promulgating the constitution.

After a drubbing in the second CA election, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is desperately working to ally with like-minded parties. Except the CPN (United), the other three parties splintered from the UCPN (Maoist). The UCPN (M) and the CPN-Maoist are already in a working alliance.

Leaders involved in talks say their ultimate goal is unification. “Once we start working together, it will prepare ground for unification. There are some ideological differences which need to be ironed out first,” said Gurung. The UCPN (M) has been pressing that these parties be included in the constitution work by forming a High-level Political Committee outside the CA.

The ruling and largest two parties—Nepali Congress and CPN-UML—express fears that the UCPN (Maoist)’s alliance with the ultra-leftist forces could hamper the statute drafting process. UCPN (M) leaders, however, say there is no backtracking on their position on peace and constitution.

“The purpose of the alliance is to create an atmosphere conducive to constitution-writing. Our effort is to bring more and more parties on board,” said UCPN (M) leader Agni Sapkota, adding that the alliance would ultimately bolster the Maoist movement in Nepal.

Due to ideological differences, the UCPN (M) faced a split in 2012 while Yadav and Thapa had defected earlier to form separate parties.

Published: 22-06-2014 09:18

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