KATHMANDU, Dec 2: While the CPN-Maoist announced the name of its general secretary, Ram Bahadur Thapa, as the party´s candidate for prime minister even earlier than the UCPN(Maoist) and Nepali Congress, a query has arisen whether this is serious or just political posturing.
The CPN-Maoist knowns well that there is slim chance to getting the support of international forces that play a decisive role in Nepali politics and there also seems to be slim chance of support from the major parties, including UCPN (Maoist).
Amid such adverse circumstances, the CPN-Maoist had formally announced Thapa as their candidate for new prime minister on Oct. 30, claming to be the third alternative political force in the country.
The CPN-Maoist has some reasons for announcing Thapa as its PM candidate.
The main reason is to counter the propaganda of UCPN (Maoist) leaders that the newly formed CPN-Maoist has no capacity to run a party. UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal himself has been saying that the breakaway Maoists are going to launch another people´s war as they only know how to fight.
According to CPN-Maoist leaders, Dahal and other UCPN (Maoist) leaders have been speaking continuously against anyone joining the new party, saying it was going to merge before the general convention.
"One of the reasons for Thapa´s candidacy is to dispel rumors spread by Dahal and others," said a CPN-Maoist central committee member.
General Secretary Thapa´s candidacy is not new. Thapa, who was in the same post while the party was still intact, was proposed as new prime minister during factional fighting in the party to stop the formation of the Dhobighat alliance. Dahal faction leaders Gopal Kirati and Onsari Gharti Magar had led a signature campaign for Thapa.
Similarly, CPN-Maoist leaders say another reason is the only option was for the political parties to walk together to solve the current crisis. At this juncture, the party should claim the government leadership.
"The political parties would not take us seriously, saying we always talk only of war, if we did not claim the post of PM," said another CPN-Maoist central level leader.
According to CPN-Maoist leaders, by claming government leadership they would no longer be compelled to remain just the tail of another party.
The CPN-Maoist leaders claimed that the solution to the crisis could be found if they pushed forward the party´s agenda as this party had a clear vision.
"This is an opportunity to establish our agenda and solve the constitutional and political crisis," said another party leader.
The CPN-Maoist also accused the UCPN (Maoist), NC and UML of being a cause of the current political and constitutional crisis. The CPN-Maoist says they have failed to find a solution.
"While we have a clear agenda for a solution and we also had 91 lawmakers in the dissolved Constituent Assembly, the other parties [UCPN (Maoist), NC and UML] have failed although they had more lawmakers than us," said Pampha Bhusal, party spokeswomen.
According to party leaders, after the failure of the major parties, only the CPN-Maoist could give an outlet to the country. Likewise, they stated that Thapa belongs to an ethnic community, there was a possibility of consensus as he is a patriotic person, he has been fighting for the cause of the people, and his leadership would guarantee peace and a new statute in the country.
Thapa was defence minister in the government led by UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.