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Alliance for Social Dialogue

:: Nepal in Transition Monthly Updates Five-point agreement among the parties and new government (April 29-May 5)
Sunday, 06 May 2012 18:04

Five-point agreement among the parties and new government (April 29-May 5)

UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) who had been engaged in discussions to resolve the disputed of the constitution have entered into a national consensus government. Nepali Congress and UML put on pressure on prime minister Baburam Bhattarai to resign to pave the way for a national consensus government. they warned the prime minister of brining a vote of no confidence if he did not resign.

UML demanded resignation of prime minister Bhattarai. Nepali Congress in its joint meeting of the central committee and parliamentary party discussed whether to bring a vote of no confidence against the government or not. After much debate in the meeting, it gave the responsibility of concluding the issue to the president Sushil Koirala, vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba. Then Nepali Congress decided to put pressure for a regular session of the parliament.

UCPN (M) and UDMF decided to face the no-confidence motion if brought on by Congress and UML. They also stated that the present government would be turned into a national government. in a meeting of UCPN (M), Congress, UML, and UDMF amidst these disputes, there was an agreement on forming a national government. however, Congress and UML interpreted that as dissolution of the present government, and UCPN (M) and UDMF interpreted it as formation of new government. UML after consultation with Congress and other parties accused UCPN (M) of backing down from the agreement and warned of brining a vote of no confidence. After much argument, ministers from UCPN (M) and UDMF resigned en masse on the night of May 3. Then there was the five-point agreement between UCPN (M), Congress, UML, and UDMF.

There was a written agreement among the parties to form a new government within two days under the leadership of Bhattarai, resolve the disputes on the form of government and state restructuring within three days, and to decide on the disputed issues through proper procedure. In the agreement, it is also mentioned that the new constitution will be promulgated before May 27, before the promulgation the present prime minister will resign and a new government led by Nepali Congress will be formed, and a general election will be held within one year, among others.

The next day, parties held discussion on the formation of a national consensus government. UCPN (M) and UDMF made preparations to send the previous ministers to the government. There was much discussion in the UML central committee on whether to join the Bhattarai-led government. most of the speakers in the meeting argued that based on morality and the party’s past decision, the party should not join Bhattarai-led government. a meeting of the central committee took place one day later to decide on the issue. As UML did not submit names of ministers, prime minister Bhattarai formed the Council of Ministers from UCPN (M), UDMF, and Congress.

Major Developments


April 29

Meeting of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF. The leaders claimed of being close to agreement on national consensus government, form of government, and state restructuring. Discussion begins on national consensus government.
Meeting of the Constitutional Committee. The major parties demand postponing the meeting as attempts were being made for consensus. Chairperson Nilambar Acharya states the next meeting will be called based on the progress made by the consultations among the parties.
No agreement could be reached on the disputed issues of the constitution. The CA meeting is postponed through a notice posted outside the CA hall.
Meeting of State Affairs Committee of the legislature-parliament. The Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung informs the meeting that preparations are being made to strengthen the capacity of the Army

April 30

Meeting of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF. Discussion on state restructuring, form of government, and formation of national consensus government. the leaders say attempts will be made to seek consensus on the disputed issues, otherwise, they will be decided through voting. UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal states that the chances of promulgating the constitution before May 27 are slim.
UCPN (M) general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa objects to being portrayed as being against peace and constitution.
Chairperson of Rastriya Prajatantra Party Kamal Thapa states the country is heading for anarchy due to the parties’ focus on power.
Nepali Congress senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, UML leader Bhim Rawal, and UCPN (M) leader Lekhraj Bhatta express commitment to not divide the far-western region.
Meeting of UCPN (M) and UDMF at the residence of the prime minister at Baluwatar concludes that there should be no talks on government formation unless there is basis for constitution-drafting

May 1

A joint meeting of Nepali Congress central committee and parliamentary party decides to work for forming government under its leadership to promulgate the new constitution before May 27. Debate on whether to bring a no-confidence motion against the government; the decision is left to president Sushil Koirala, vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Meeting of the CA approves amendment of the CA Regulations. Also decides to settle disputed issues through majoritarian process and if there is no majority decision, then the issue can be re-sent back to the Constitutional Committee.
Meeting of the dispute resolution sub-committee of the Constitutional Committee decides to amend the CA Regulations to take the constitution-drafting forward and attempts at consensus through the senior leaders.
CA chairperson Subash Nemwang consults the leaders of major parties on the remaining disputed issues and deadline.
May Day programme is organised in Khula Manch. UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal states that if the constitution is federal based on identity and capability, there will be revolutionary violent storm.
The Vaidya faction of UCPN (M) holds its programme in Basantapur. Accusations that chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal betrayed the revolution by submitting the combatants and arms.
The meeting to seek consensus on the disputed issues of the constitution among UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF could not take place. The meeting was affected after the prime minister did not return from Biratnagar citing inclement weather.

May 2

Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai visits the injured of the Janakpur blast at Teaching Hospital. The injured complained that Mithila state is not included. The prime minister states that attempts are being made for consensus.
National Muslim Struggle Coalition holds a programme in the capital. UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal and other leaders express commitment to guarantee the rights of the Muslims in the new constitution.
Meeting of Nepali Congress parliamentary party. differences on whether to bring a vote of no confidence against the government. ram Chandra Paudel is in favour of registering a vote of no confidence; Narhari Acharya and other leaders are against it. Decision to force the government to call parliamentary session.
Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai calls the groups organising bandas and strikes demanding for an undivided far-west for talks, claiming that government’s attention has been drawn to the demands of Sudurpaschim Ekata Manch, Akhanda Sudurpaschim Sangharsha Samiti, Chhetri Samaj, Sudurpaschim Jagaran Manch, Sanyukta Loktantrik Tharu Morcha, Tharu Sanyukta Sangharsha Samiti, Mithila Rajya Sangharsha Samiti and others.
Meeting of UCPN (M) and UDMF at the parliamentary office of UCPN (M) at Singha Durbar decides to face the no-confidence motion if brought by the opposition parties and terms the attempts at no-confidence motion as trying to disrupt the peace and constitution-drafting process.
Meeting of UML standing committee concludes that prime minister Baburam Bhattarai should resign to pave the way for national consensus government.
Meeting of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF. Agreement to form a national consensus government. UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal states the government will be dissolved. UCPN (M) vice-chairperson Narayankaji Shrestha claims the next government will also be led by Baburam Bhattarai.

May 3

Meeting of the leaders of UCPN (M) and UDMF at the residence of the prime minister at Baluwatar decides to give continuity to the present government to complete the peace and constitution-drafting process.
Meeting between UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Nepali Congress general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, and UDMF coordinator Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar to discuss common proposals for consensus.
Parties disagree on whether dissolution or reshuffling of the government.
Meeting of the UML standing committee decides to bring a vote of no confidence if UCPN (M) backs down from the agreement.
CA meeting is postponed to the next day through a notice posted in the secretariat.
Meeting of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF. Differences on whether dissolution or reshuffling of the government. as the dispute was going on, ministers from UCPN (M) and UDMF resign en masse.
Five-point agreement between UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF. Agreement to form a new government led by Baburam Bhattarai. Formation of a new government led by Nepali Congress which will promulgate the new constitution and hold new elections within one year.
Life is severely affected in the far-western regions as the banda enters seventh day demanding an undivided far-west.
The meeting of the Constitutional Committee is limited to informalities as the leaders are focused on the disputed issues of the constitution.

May 4

UCPN (M) states that it will give continuity to the former ministers in the present Council of Ministers.
Meeting of UML central committee. Differences on whether to join Baburam Bhattarai-led government. majority of the speakers are against joining the government.
UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal states the five-point agreement has created an atmosphere of trust and stresses on focusing on constitution-drafting after quickly forming the new government.
Meeting of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF at the residence of the prime minister at Baluwatar agrees to form a national government by tomorrow. The leaders state that disputed issues will be resolved by calling the meeting of the dispute resolution sub-committee and the Constitutional Committee.

May 5

Meeting between prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala to discuss expansion of the Council of Ministers.
Meeting between UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and UN representative Samuel Tamrat. Tamrat suggests working together to draft the constitution.
Meeting between UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and UDMF to discuss the disputed issues of the constitution. Agreement to further discuss state restructuring.
Meeting of Nepali Congress officials and leaders at the residence of president Sushil Koirala decides to give responsibility of recommending the names for ministers to president Koirala and vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel after consulting senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai forms a 12-member Council of Ministers by including members from UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, and UDMF.