Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Wednesday said that the processes of writing the constitution and the much-debated army integration would be started soon after the Tihar festival.
"The government is firm on its stance of ensuring peace, development and drafting of the new constitution," PM Prachanda said at a tea reception hosted by the CPN-UML. " The government will form different committees and commissions for these purposes before Tihar."
These panels are supposed to settle the disputed issues so that the task of writing the constitution would move ahead smoothly, PM Prachanda said.
The Prime Minister stated that the government led by the Maoist party was strongly committed to multiparty democracy, human rights and the rule of law. "The Maoist party will not be backtrack from peace process," he added.
Political party leaders attending the reception also expressed their commitments the peace process and the drafting of the new constitution.
Regarding his prior statement of establishing the ‘people’s republic,’ Prachanda clarified that his new terminology was not different from the existing multiparty democratic system in its meaning and essence.
"Seventy years ago, as Mao declared the peoples’ republic, there was no federalism and multi-party system. But, in the course of time the forms of ‘people’s republic’ are developing in new ways," Prachanda said.
Prachanda, however, urged the parties not to analyze multiparty democracy in terms of parliamentary system.
Former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala also vowed his support to draft the new constitution. But Koirals said the government was not paying due attention to the process of writing the new constitution.
Koirala repeated his strong opposition to integrating the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) into Nepal Army (NA) and urged not to politicize the NA "as it has been participating in the UN’s peace keeping missions with its reputation."
He said he asked the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) if it could involve the PLA in UN’s peacekeeping missions.
"Responding to my queries UNMIN Chief Ian Martin denied that the PLA could be involved in the UN"s peace keeping missions. If the UN cannot take the PLA in peacekeeping missions, how can they be integrated into NA?" Koirala questioned. " The NA is a national army. It has no political attachment like the PLA."
As to PM Prachanda’s hints about NC’s joining in the government, Koirala said that his party had not thought about this but it would continue to play a constructive role without affecting the public life.
The UML has been hosting the tea reception to exchange festival greetings among political leaders and well-wishers in continuation of the tradition started by its late leader former Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari.
A large number of political leaders, diplomats, security chiefs and party supporters attended the reception. UML leaders were busy to welcome their guests throughout the day.
RSS adds that Nepali Congress (NC) President and former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said that Nepal Army (NA) should not be politicized and no sides should opt to tarnish its dignity and image.
While talking to journalists at a tea reception and greetings exchange programme hosted by CPN-UML today, opposition party leader Koirala added NA is not the Army of pocket of any political parties; rather it belongs to entire Nepali people and the government.
Responding a question raised by journalists, President Koirala made it clear that his party has not thought to join the present Maoist-led government.
He would attend the social gathering hosted by various political parties, but would not make political surrender with any forces, said NC President Koirala, adding, "NC is the party having own fundamental culture".
Of a query raised in connection with the adjustment of CPN (Maoist)’s combatants, former Prime Minister Koirala replied, "NA should not be politicized anymore at the cost of adjustment and no sides should bring slur in the good image and role NA has played as international peacekeepers.
The term of the government would depend on its works, said Koirala, and recommended the government to give priority to constitution drafting process.
The NC Chief added the incumbent government would be interim till the draft of new constitution.
President Koirala reached the tea reception place at around 2.45 PM in a pleasant mood.
He said his party would entirely assist in drafting new constitution, and at the same time accused the government of ignoring the crucial tasks for the purpose.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of CPN (UML), Jhalanath Khanal has said UML, Maoist and Nepali Congress should move ahead in unity and there is no alternative to the unity.
In the Tea-reception and Greetings Exchange Program, organized today at Party Central Office, Madan Nagar, General Secretary Khanal said the parties should move ahead by understanding that people had shouldered heavy loads on them.
He said constitution building is the prime task and all should move ahead in unity to make good constitution.
Deputy Prime Minister, Bam Dev Gautam expressed his commitment that the houses and properties seized by Maoist in past would be returned.