CA polls by mid-June
Leaders differ over voters list, citizenship issue, formation of TRC KATHMANDU, Feb 19: After nine-month-long bickering over the government leadership, major political parties finally endorsed a deal to form an election government under the leadership of sitting chief justice and to hold Constituent Assembly (CA) polls by mid-June.
Top leaders of UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and United Madhesi Democratic Front (UDMF) along with key leaders from their respective parties, who held hours-long talks at the president´s office at Sheetal Niwas on Monday, reached the agreement to this effect.
"Forming CJ-headed government to hold CA elections has been confirmed. We have already talked to the CJ as well over the matter," CPN-UML Vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam told reporters while emerging from the president´s office on Monday evening. He said it was a consensus agreement among the four major political forces. Leaders said the CJ-headed cabinet will have 11 ministers.
A combo picture of the leaders after the meeting. (Photo: Bhaswor Ojha)
NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel echoed Gautam. He said the election for new CA will be held by mid-June and the new government will fix the date.
Ruling UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chariman Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who is also a deputy prime minister, said that other issues will be settled during the next round of talks to be held Tuesday. Also, an all-party meeting including all the political parties represented in the dissolved CA has been called for Tuesday.
Leaders said they are yet to settle some issues related to peace process and election-related matters such as the criteria for preparing voter list and citizenship.
Gautam said they are yet to settle differences over the criteria of preparing voter list, peace process-related issues such as formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission on Disappearances and citizenship-related issues.
Deputy Prime Minister and UDMF Coordinator Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar said leaders from the Madhes-based parties have been insisting that issues related to voters name list and citizenship prior to the elections should be settled before the elections.
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"Hundreds of thousands of citizens´ were given citizenships by birth. But their children have been deprived of acquiring citizenship by descent. This issue should be settled in advance," said Gachchhadar. He said every citizen who becomes eligible by mid-April 2012 for vote should be included in the voters´ list.
Leaders said they planned to settle remaining issues by Tuesday as they are inching closer to finding common ground on the contentious issues.
Asked if the president is going to administer oath of office and secrecy to the new prime minister by Tuesday, leaders said it would be too early to confirm it.
Leaders reached the agreement after hours-long inter-party as well as intra-party talks at the president´s office throughout the day.
The taskforce comprising two members each from the UCPN (Maoist), NC, CPN-UML and UDMF, which was asked to prepare a draft proposal on forming new government under the CJ and holding elections, submitted its report to top leaders on Monday morning.
The top leaders at a joint meeting discussed the proposal for a few hours. Later, they held separate meetings among the leaders from their respective parties. Again, they held another round of joint meeting within the president´s office.