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:: Nepal in Transition Monthly Updates Antagonism among Parties (January 15-21)
Sunday, 22 January 2012 15:20

Antagonism among Parties (January 15-21)

After the prime minister Baburam Bhattarai called a meeting to discuss the stalled peace and constitution-drafting process among Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF, the leaders reached the Peace and Reconstruction Ministry at Singha Durbar. When the leaders came to know of decision of the Council of Ministers to legalise the decisions of the Maoist people’s government during the conflict period regarding land transactions and deeds, the enraged Congress and UML leaders asked the prime minister and UCPN (M) to clarify the decision.

Prime minister Bhattarai asked the meeting to move forward committing to bring the minutes of the decision in the next meeting. Congress and UML countered that the discussion cannot move forward unless there is clarification on the issue. The prime minister and other UCPN (M) leaders defended that the decision was taken to simplify and legalise the past actions. However, the Congress and UML boycotted the meeting after not being satisfied with the explanations furnished by the prime minister and UCPN (M) leaders and announced that they would not participate in further meetings unless the decision is reversed. They also obstructed the meeting of the parliament demanding the decision of the Council of Ministers and gave warnings that the parliament would be obstructed until the decision is taken back.

Congress and UML concluded that UCPN (M) has backed down from the peace and constitution-drafting process with its decision to legalise the actions of the ‘people’s government’ of the conflict period. They held meeting with other parties in a bid to put pressure on UCPN (M). Opposition 10 parties decided to move forward unitedly against the government and UCPN (M) and also decided to put pressure on UCPN (M) on peace and constitution-drafting process. Similarly, central committee and parliamentary party of Nepali Congress also decided that the decision of UCPN (M) was against the past agreements and with ill-intent.

Though Congress, UML and other opposition parties criticised the decision, the government and UCPN (M) was not ready to immediately correct its decision. Prime minister Bhattarai asked not to be suspicious of the decision and accused the opposition of showing force in stalling the peace process and the parliament.

Minister for Land Reform and Management Bhim Prasad Gautam argued that the decision was taken to remove the difficulties due to the decisions taken during the conflict. UCPN (M) chairperson Dahal also argued that the decision was taken to remove the difficulties due to the conflict-era decisions and reality is not as understood by Congress, UML and other parties.

As the dispute was raging among the parties regarding the decision of the Council of Ministers, the Democratic Lawyers Association filed a petition at the Supreme Court. The supreme court issued an interim stay order on January 19, 2012, against the government not to implement the decision of the Council of Ministers to legalise the decisions of the ‘people’s government’ on land transactions during the conflict. Chief justice Khilraj Regmi ordered the government to submit the reasons for taking the decision and called on both parties for discussion on January 25, 2012.

There were bilateral meetings to end the political deadlock there was none involving the prime minister. CA chairperson Subash Nemwang met the prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and suggested to start dialogue among the parties and take the peace and constitution-drafting process forward. UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal met UCPN (M) chairperson Dahal and requested him to take the peace process forward.

Major Developments


January 15

Meeting of UCPN (M) central committee endorses the proposal to stress peace and constitution at the moment by deferring the proposals of chairperson Dahal and vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya.
UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal holds meeting with leaders close to him. Work starts to calm the party dispute by brining in the vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya faction leaders into the government.
UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal states that the process of constitution-drafting cannot be continued unless UCPN (M) moves the peace process forward according to the past agreements.
UCPN (M) vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya states that revolution will not be successful simply because UCPN (M) leads the government, stresses on the need for people’s revolution.
UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal expresses commitment to defeat the conspiracies against the peace process and promulgate the constitution that is tied with the future of the people.

January 16

Chairperson of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandadevi) and CA member Shyam Sundar Gupta is arrested from Bhairahawa on charges of being involved in the kidnapping of businessman Pawan Shanghai.
Meeting of UML standing committee decides to start a process to unite with other communist parties. Senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal is the coordinator of the talks team and KP Sharma Oli, vice-chairperson Bamdev Gautam, and general secretary Ishwor Pokharel are the other members.
30 political parties submit their annual income-expenditure details to the Election Commission.
Meeting of UCPN (M) officials. Vaidya faction disagrees to the establishment faction proposal to form a national consensus government. Decision to conduct trainings in different parts of the country.
Meeting between UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Congress president Sushil Koirala. Discussion on the political deadlock and formation of national consensus government.

January 17

Meeting of the Council of Ministers decides to allocate Rs. 2 billion for combatants choosing voluntary retirement. The meeting also nominates 10 persons for ambassadors to different countries.
Meeting of the Constitutional Committee. Consensus on the name of the parliament, voting age, and decision to name the lower house as the House of Representatives.
UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal accuses the government and UCPN (M) of not paying attention towards implementing the 7-point agreement.
US government volunteer programme Peace Corps restarts its Nepal operations after seven years.
The Kathmandu District Court authorises the police to keep CA member Shyam Sundar Gupta who is accused in the kidnapping of businessman Pawan Sanghai for further four days in detention to carry out its investigations. Gupta states that he has been accused as part of political conspiracy.
The decision of the Council of Ministers to legalise the decisions of the ‘people’s government’ during the conflict regarding land transactions is published in the Kantipur Daily. Congress and UML boycott the meeting called by the prime minister on the peace process, constitution-drafting, and consensus government after the decision is published. They demand the reversal of the decision of the Council of Ministers.
Congress and UML announce that they will not hold any dialogue with the government and UCPN (M) until the decision of the Council of Ministers is reversed.
Meeting of the legislature-parliament. Congress and UML obstruct proceedings demanding the decision of the Council of Ministers to be reversed.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party expresses opposition to the decision of the Council of Ministers. It states that the decision is a direct violation of rule of law, the Interim Constitution, land acts and customary laws.

January 18

Joint meeting of Congress central committee and parliamentary party. Committee and CA members stress on parliamentary form of government with directly elected prime minister.
Senior Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba states that unless the government reverses the decision to legalise the land captures by the Maoists during the conflict, the peace process cannot move forward.
Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hridayesh Tripathi states that the government took decision to legalise the ‘people’s government’ decision in consultation with his party.
Minister for Land Reform and Management Bhim Prasad Gautam states that the decisions of the ‘people’s government’ are being legalised to facilitate the peace process.
UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal asks prime minister Baburam Bhattarai to pave the way for national consensus government.

January 19

Meeting of the central committee and parliamentary party of Nepali Congress. Most committee and CA members stress on the present Westminster model of parliament-elected executive prime minister and ceremonial president.
UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal moves into a new residence in Lazimpat, citing security reasons.
The Supreme Court issues an interim stay order against the government not to implement the decision of the government to legalise the land transactions carried out by the ‘people’s government’ during the armed conflict. Chief justice Khilraj Regmi-led bench issues an order to the government to submit the reasons for the government decision.
UCPN (M) starts its trainings as per the decision of the central committee. Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, vice-chairpersons Mohan Vaidya and Baburam Bhattarai state that if there is obstruction in the peace and constitution-drafting process, the way for people’s revolution is open.
Meeting of Congress and UML decides to form a united front against UCPN (M).
Meeting of the Constitutional Committee. UCPN (M) vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya faction members oppose the agreements reached in the sub-committee for dispute resolution.
Chairperson of the Constitutional Committee Nilambar Acharya stresses on the need to promulgate the new constitution in four months at any cost.
Meeting of Nepali Congress central committee and parliamentary party concludes that the decision of the Council of Ministers was unacceptable, ill-intentioned, and against peace process and constitution.
Senior Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba accuses UCPN (M) of trying to derail the peace and constitution-drafting process.

January 20

Meeting of 10 political parties including Congress and UML concludes that UCPN (M) does not wish to take the peace process and constitution-drafting process forward.
Meeting of legislature-parliament. Congress and UML obstruct proceedings demanding reversal of the decision of the Council of Ministers.
Meeting between CA chairperson Subash Nemwang and prime minister Baburam Bhattarai. The chairperson asks the prime minister to end the political stalemate and take the peace and constitution-drafting process forward.

January 21

Meeting between UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. Nepal requests chairperson Dahal to take the peace process forward. Dahal states that the peace and constitution-darting process will not be stalled because of UCPN (M).
UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal accuses Congress, UML and other parties of conspiracy to contain the Maoists.