KATHMANDU, Sept 13: Leaders from the UCPN (Maoist) and Nepali Congress (NC), at a meeting on Wednesday, decided to agree on fresh elections if they cannot decide within the next one week on reinstatement of the Constituent Assembly.
Top leaders from the two parties, who gathered at UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s residence at Lazimpat, took the decision, realizing that protracting the constitutional and political stalemate would only further worsen the crisis.
"We decided to concentrate talks on fresh elections if we can´t agree in the next one week on CA reinstatement because we have already lost three months without any progress following the demise of the CA," said NC General Secretary Prakash Man Singh. "We have also agreed to intensify talks starting tomorrow [Thursday] on ending the stalemate."
Leaders from the two sides also held talks on Tuesday evening and they sat for the new round of talks on Wednesday as a continuation of their discussions the previous day.
The leaders from the two major parties are now prepared to discuss CA reinstatement as a first option and to take up fresh polls only as a second option.
The party leaders said they pondered over CA revival as the first option as that would pave the way for ending the political stalemate in a constitutional fashion.
Dahal pressed the NC leaders to come up with their party´s official position on the two options, saying that some senior NC leaders were taking a public stance against CA revival. In response, NC Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel emphasized the need of creating an environment of trust under either situation.
Senior NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, however, was for ending the stalemate by reviving the CA.
The leaders from the two sides wrapped up the meeting after agreeing to concentrate the next round of talks on deciding between CA revival or fresh elections. "If we can´t agree on CA reinstatement we have to decide what elections we are going for -- for the CA or parliament. And what will be the procedures. So the next round of talks will be focused on these issues," explained Singh.
According to sources, Dahal said at the meeting that the parties can promulgate a new constitution through the reinstated CA and set a new course ahead if they come together on the previous agreements that the parties had inked.
The NC leaders insisted on the formation of a new government beforehand. In response, Dahal said the Maoist party had no objection to NC leadership of a new government if the parties reach an agreement in a package on ending the stalemate.