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Maoists reject King's proclaimation

Written by: Staff
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Kathmandu, Apr 25 (UNI) Nepal's Maoists today categorically ''rejected and dismissed'' King Gyanendra's announcement of revival of the sacked Parliament and called on the people to continue the agitation until ''unconditional'' elections to the Constituent Assembly are announced.

Also castigating the seven-party alliance (SPA) for welcoming the King's announcement unilaterally, the Maoists said that it amounted to a violation of the ''spirit behind the 12-point agreement''. They would carry on their agitation, including blockade of the Kathmandu valley and other urban centres, they added.

''The substantive part of the King's announcement is intended to pour water on the fire that threatened to engulf the Monarchy. The King is starting a new precedence of constituting Parliament illegally. This is a gross insult of the parliamentary system,'' a Maoist statement, bearing the signatures of Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai said.

The statement also said the decision of the SPA to welcome and support the King's announcement ''was breaking the spirit of the 12 point-agreement and going against the hope and sentiment of the Nepalese people.'' ''Their unilateral support for the revival of the Parliament, without consulting the Maoists, in effect tried to break the spirit behind the 12-point agreement. Why should people believe that parliament which has come as a gift from the King would have the resolve to hold unconditional elections to the Constituent Assembly,'' the Maoists said, adding unless these were held, they would continue their agitation and called on the people to support them.

Terming the SPA's action ''a blunder'', they said it was necessary to continue the agitation to put pressure on them.

However, toning down their rhetoric in the latter part of the statement, the Maoists called on the parties to respect the spirit of the 12-point agreement.

However, according to informed sources here, the Maoists' statement does not necessarily amount to a hitch in the peace process but is more likely a ploy to derive concessions, such as their demand for unconditional elections to the Constituent Assembly, as the 12-point agreement clearly mentioned the importance of the revival of the assembly. ''The statement is contradictory insofar as they accuse the SPA of undermining the spirit of the agreement, but later, call on them to uphold it,'' they said.

UNI VD AK SND1340

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