HETAUDA, Feb 8: The ruling UCPN (Maoist) has floated a new proposal of forming an election government under the leadership of incumbent chief justice (CJ) as a way to end the ongoing political impasse.
The ongoing general convention of the party came up with the new proposal as the opposition parties turned down several earlier proposals. Dahal’s political document has been endorsed on Thursday.
“The closed session of the ongoing general convention of the party, following group discussion, endorsed the new proposal put forth by the party chairman to go for the sitting CJ,” said Agni Sapkota, the party’s spokesman, briefing the media at the general convention venue, Hetauda textile factory, in Hetauda.
Addressing the closed session, Dahal said that he spoke to Nepali Congress and UML leaders Wednesday evening on the phone and they have taken his new proposal of forming government under the CJ positively.
Earlier, we had floated a series of proposals that included expanding the present government to give it the form of national government, forming a national government under NC President Sushil Koirala after settling issues related to the new constitution, and we even proposed forming an election government with some politically independent individual or a former justice of the Supreme Court but the opposition rejected all the proposals, Dahal said.
Earlier, during the inaugural session, Dahal had announced that the ongoing general convention would come up with a new “formula” to end the ongoing political stalemate.
Similarly, Dahal informed that he will remain active in politics for 10 more years. Replying to queries from leaders in the closed session, he claimed that he would not make the same mistake as Mao did in China. Mao was in the main leadership even during his last moments.
“Mao remained party chairman until his death. He did not prepare his successor. We should run the party through collective leadership. So I have decided to remain in active politics only for ten more years,” said a participant quoting Dahal.
Maoist party removes referendum proposal
The party has removed the mention of referendum for resolving Nepal-India border disputes from Dahal’s proposal following strong criticism from cadres. Cadres had said a referendum on such a sensitive issue could turn Nepal into another Sikkim or Fiji.
“It came up in the document by mistake. The border issue should be decided by experts,” said a participant of the closed session quoted Dahal.
The closed session also approved, in principle, the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) signed with India. It has, however, suggested formulating new laws if certain provisions of the agreement can have adverse ramifications for national capital.
Cadres close to the Dahal and Narayan Kaji Shrestha had strongly criticized the signing of BIPPA saying it was anti national. Dahal also informed the closed-session that China has also sent a proposal to sign BIPPA with Nepal. Dahal said Nepal should sign the agreement with China as well.
“Signing of BIPPA cannot be anti-national,” a participant quoted Dahal as saying. He mentioned that all unequal treaties since 1950 have been dismissed.
Leaders Gopal Kiranti, Ram Karki and Lekhraj Bhatta had aired their views challenging Dahal’s document during the closed session.
The party has also decided to abandon Mao Tse-tung thought. The guiding principle of the party will be Marxism, Leninism and Maoism. According to Sapkota, the party has suspended Prachanda Path for now but has not abandoned it.
Sapkota also informed that Chairman Dahal will move from Lazimpat after finding a suitable residence elsewhere. He also informed that the party has signed an agreement with the owner of the Lazimpat residence for five years.
CPA was a compromise
In his four-hour speech, Dahal said that the comprehensive peace accord of 2006 was a compulsion. He said his intention was to capture state powers directly but as that became unsuccessful, the party opted a compromise through the 2006 deal.
Meanwhile, the party has formed a seven-member election commission with party leader Kulananda Giri as its chief.
Exercise of power
The general convention has been prolonged by one more day after it failed to elect a new leadership. The party is still in dispute over the size of the central committee and office bearers.
The closed session has demanded with Dahal to form a central committee with less than hundred members. There are 240 members in the general convention organizing committee.
There is no dispute for the post of chairman and vice-chairmen as Dahal will remain chairman and Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha will retain the posts of vice-chairmen. But several leaders are eying the post of general secretary.
Maoist insiders said Post Bahadur Bogati or Krishna Bahadur Mahara are the main candidates for general secretary. Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji factions want Bogati in the post but the Dahal faction wants Krishna Bahadur Mahara in the post.
Sources also said that there is possibility of the party coming up with four vice-chairmen -- Bhattarai, Shrestha, Bogati and Amik Sherchan -- and Mahara as general secretary.
Likewise, Barshaman Pun, either Top Bahadur Rayamajhi or Hisila Yama, and Giriraj Mani Pokharel could be elected secretaries. Yami and Rayamajhi are close to Bhattarai while Pokheral is close to Shrestha. Another source however said either Sherchan or Yami could be elected as treasurers while Haribol Gajurel or Agni Sapkota could be elected as secretaries.