SPA breaks down in Nepal, UML, Maoists alliance on anvil

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Kathmandu, Jun 24 (UNI) The Seven Party Alliance which has been at the centrestage of democrtaic movement in Nepal and was instrumental in the declaration of republic is virtually defunct as the Himalayan nation is witnessing a new round of political alignments and realigments with the CPN-UML joinining hands with the CPN-Maoists, leaving behind Nepali Congress (NC).

UML and Maoists have reached agreement to seek consensus with other parties on amendment to the constitution even without the NC.

A meeting of the two parties at Singha Durbar yesterday decided to seek consensus with other political parties to amend the constitution for forming the next government. The two parties will try to persuade NC to withdraw its conditions but are prepared to move ahead without if the latter refuses.

The seven-party alliance (SPA) as mentioned in the interim constitution is effectively dead.

''The ongoing political stalemate should not continue and all other political parties should seek consensus to find a way out of the crisis if Nepali Congress doesn't withdraw its stance,'' UML leader Ishwar Pokharel, who attended the meeting was quoted as saying by Kantipur.

The two parties' meeting concluded that NC's demand for induction of an opposition leader into the Security Council is not appropriate.

''An opposition party should never claim representation in the Security Council,'' Mr Pokharel remarked.

The Maoists had left the SPA negotiating table on Sunday after NC demanded representation of opposition party in the Security Council.

The meeting decided to introduce a proposal at tomorrow's CA meeting to amend the constitution. The seven political parties have already agreed to amend the current constitution to enable a simple majority to appoint the president.

''We will first try to seek consensus with NC also. But we will introduce a non-government bill to amend the constitution if NC doesn't withdraw its demand by tomorrow,'' senior Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai said.

He said the process of forming the next government will begin once the interim constitution is amended and a new president elected through a simple majority of CA members.

Following the meeting with the Maoists, the UML held a separate meeting with the NC and urged the latter to withdraw its demand for opposition representation in the Security Council. However, the NC reiterated its stance arguing that representation of the opposition in the Security Council is required in the special democracy that obtains.

''A demand for opposition representation in the Security Council would be irrelevant only in a normal democracy,'' NC spokesperson Arjun Narsing, who attended the meeting.

He said the NC's demand is very relevant in the existing situation where the Maoists will head both the armies -- Nepali Army and rebel army (People's Liberation Army) --following the formation of a new government.

''We asked the UML team to realise the sensitivity of the current security situation and support our demand,'' added the NC spokesperson.

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