Constitution, not govt, oppn priority: Dahal

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Constitution, not govt, oppn priority: Dahal

Dec 24, 2014-

UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Wednesday that the opposition front will not join the government until the promulgation of a “progressive” constitution. He added that timely constitution, not power-sharing, is their main priority.

At a news conference, Dahal said the smaller parties outside the government that he leads as an alliance would intensify the street protest against the ruling parties’ plan to promulgate the new constitution with the majority votes of the Constituent Assembly members. Dahal made it clear that the agitation was not a bargaining chip to ascend to power.

The opposition front said it hopes to bring the ruling parties to consensus through street pressure. Dahal came down heavily on CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli, calling him a “conservative leader with a unitary and feudal character”.

On Tuesday, Oli lambasted Dahal. Bitter verbal exchanges between Oli and Dahal have increased in recent days.

“Monarchy has already been removed but he [Oli] is acting as a king,” Dahal said, adding, however, that he does not have personnel rivalry with Oli.

The news conference was organised to make public the plan of the opposition parties who said revolt and negotiations will go side by side.

The opposition leader asked the ruling parties to abide by past agreements while drafting the constitution. The alliance has announced a protest programme ahead of the January 22 constitution promulgation deadline. They disgruntled parties have announced a nationwide strike on January 19, three days ahead of the statute deadline.

BRB blames NC, UML leadership

UCPN (Maoist) senior leader Baburam Bhattarai has blamed the political deadlock on the leaders who are not signatories to the past accords including the historic 12-point understanding and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

At a programme organised in the Capital by the Federation of Nepali Journalists, Bhattarai said the current leadership of the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML had not grasped the spirit of the people’s movement and the Constituent Assembly like the way the leaders directly involved in devising the peace roadmap did.

Hinting at NC President Sushil Koirala and UML chief KP Oli, Bhattarai said, “The new leadership in the NC and the UML do not comprehend the spirit of the people’s movement and the CA.”

He said that the agenda of the people’s movement was in contrast to the mandate of the second CA election. “The problem arose after NC and UML leadership spoke only of the mandate, disregarding the spirit of the movement and the past accords.”

Bhattarai, who heads the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the CA, said his party was committed to promulgating the new constitution through the Assembly on time. He claimed that his party would be the biggest loser if the constitution was not drafted.

Published: 25-12-2014 08:59

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