Opposition alliance decides to sit for formal talks

Kathmandu, March 5: The opposition alliance led by the Ubified CPN (Maoist) that had begun protest movement after the majoritarian process was started in constitution writing has decided to sit for formal talks with the ruling side for one time before announcing its second phase of protest programmes.

A meeting of the 30-party alliance held at the UCPN (Maoist) parliamentary party office at Singhadurbar this morning decided to sit for formal talks in deference to the Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s call for dialogue from time to time and his assurances during informal talks to move ahead the consensual process.

However, the alliance has stated that it will announce the second phase of its programmes in its next meeting scheduled for March 10 if the talks fail. In the meeting, UCPN (Maoist) chairman and coordinator of the alliance, Pushpa Kamal Dahal briefed about the separate informal talks he held on Wednesday with PM Koirala, Nepali Congress Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel and CPN (UML) leader Madhav Nepal.

Talking to the media after the meeting, alliance spokesman Prem Bahadur Singh said the alliance made a unanimous decision to hold formal talks by giving the benefit of doubt and based on the PM Koirala’s call and the decision of the Nepali Congress central committee to stress on the consensual process.

Singh said as they understand it the ruling side is positive to writing the constitution on consensus by scrapping the majoritarian process but the option to go for protest was open to the alliance if the dialogue failed.

“There is demand everywhere among the people for movement, the movement is for pressing for consensus and it is our view that let us hold formal talks if consensus is possible,” he added. In today’s meeting, the alliance concluded that the protest assembly that it held at the Khulamanch on February 28 was a complete success, according to spokesman Singh.

However, the chairman of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal, Upendra Yadav, is understood to have proposed in the meeting to continue with the protest movement as the majoritarian process was not yet scrapped and a reliable environment for consensus was also not formed. He left the meeting before it concluded. He did not talk to the press about this.

The ruling and the opposition sides have been sparring after the Constituent Assembly at its meeting on January 25 decided to form the proposal (questionnaire preparation) committee and go ahead with the constitution writing process amidst the protest by the opposition alliance. RSS