NC asks PM Khanal to amend 7-point deal reached with Maoists

Shirish B Pradhan

Kathmandu, Feb 16 (PTI) Nepal''s main opposition party NChas said it may join a national consensus government ifPremier Jhalanath Khanal amends the 7-point power-sharing dealhe reached with Maoist supremo Prachanda which was "againstthe spirit of peace and Constitution-writing process."

If the Prime Minister is ready to review the deal reachedbetween him and Prachanda, the Nepali Congress can considerthe option of joining the coalition government under him,Nepali Congress (NC) leader and ex-deputy premier SujataKoirala said.

All political parties should work together to forgeunderstanding and collaboration to draft a new Constitutionand complete the peace process, she said.

There is no relevance of the seven-point agreementreached between the two Communist parties -- CPN-UML of Khanaland CPN-Maoist of Prachanda, Koirala maintained.

She insisted that the Nepali Congress may join Khanal-ledgovernment if he is ready to find out a new basis ofunderstanding among all political parties in order to completethe task of drafting a new Constitution and concluding thepeace process.

Claiming that the seven-point agreement was against thespirit of peace and Constitution-writing process, she said theMaoists should not be given the portfolio of Home and Defenceministries in this situation.

Three Madhesi parties from the Terai region borderingIndia have also taken strong exception to the seven-pointagreement, amid reports that the "secret" pact includesprovisions such as sharing of the Prime Ministerial postbetween Khanal and Prachanda on rotational basis.

The Nepalese opposition parties agreed that such anagreement not only violated the spirit of 2006 ComprehensivePeace Agreement (CPA), interim Constitution and various otherpacts reached in the past, but also undermined theconstitutionally formed Special Committee for Supervision,Integration and Rehabilitation of the 19,000 former Maoistcombatants.

They claimed the agreement to share the PrimeMinisterial post on a rotational basis aims to establish thehegemony of the two Left parties.

Prime Minister Khanal has, however, dismissed reportsthat he had agreed to hand over power to Prachanda as part ofthe "secret" deal.

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