Maoists ‘ready’ for compromise

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Maoists ‘ready’ for compromise

Apr 15, 2015-

The UCPN (Maoist) has said that it is ready to make a compromise on the issues of federalism if the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML agree to make more concessions on the electoral system.

The main opposition party claims that it wants to conclude the statute drafting process as soon as possible if the ruling parties are ready for the inclusive and proportional representation of marginalised communities through a new electoral system. Although the parties have agreed in principle to go for a mixed electoral system, they are divided over the percentage of FPTP and Proportional Representation (PR).

Giving preference to negotiations over street protests, the Maoist leaders said they were not in a mood to announce the third phase of protest despite pressure on UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal from allies of the 30-party front to unveil the street protest.  

 “If ruling parties are ready to allocate 55 percent seats under FPTP and 45 percent under proportional categories, we will adopt flexibility on the numbers and demarcation of federal units,” said a senior Maoist leader involved in the cross-party negotiations. The ruling parties have said that they could go up to 40 percent for the PR.

The Maoist leaders said they had given up on their stance of 10-province model and that the party was ready to go for an eight-province model and entrust the provincial parliament to finalise names. The party’s second proposal is to adopt six provinces and finalise names immediately.

If there is a win-win formula on other issues, party leaders said they could be more flexible over their stance on federalism. “We are also open to draft a preliminary draft of new constitution by incorporating stances of the parties on names and demarcation of federal units,” they said.

Second-rung Maoist leaders including Top Bahadur  Rayamajhi, Shakti Basnet and Agni Sapkota have presented these alternatives to party Chairman Dahal. The leaders have suggested forming an expert panel to settle the issue over the five disputed districts Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur or keep them under central government.

Maoist leaders, who have been in regular talks with their counterparts from ruling parties, said they are ready for any alternatives on the five districts. “The dispute over five districts is between the ruling and Madhes-based parties. We have less concern there,” said a Maoist leader, insisting that the party was taking position on five districts due to its alliance with the Madhes-based parties.

The second-rung leaders have asked Dahal to settle the issues soon. “We have presented various alternatives to resolve the disputed issues as we are not in favor of lingering the process,” said Maoist leader Basnet. “After the ruling parties are sticking to their 9-point proposal, we are exploring various alternatives for consensus.”

Another leader Devendra Poudel, who is close to senior leader Baburam Bhattarai, also said the party was adopting flexible position on federalism to end the deadlock.

“We have reached a conclusion that we have to complete the statute drafting process as soon as possible,” he said.

 

Published: 16-04-2015 09:44

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