Nepal: Prachanda to Give Peace a Chance to Work
Posted by Ka Frank on February 7, 2010
This appeared in Hindustan Times on February 5, 2010
Nepal Maoists to give peace a chance
Five days after threatening to launch a people’s revolt, Nepal Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ took a step back on Thursday by announcing his party’s decision to give peace another chance. The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) standing committee’s decision came after a marathon eight-day meeting, which saw hardliners in favour of an immediate revolt getting sidelined by those backing peace.
Prachanda, however, made it clear that the party could launch a people’s revolt if the ongoing peace and constitution drafting processes fall prey to “conspiracy”. “There is no dispute in the party that the people hold the right to revolt if conspiracy against the promulgation of a people’s constitution prevailed.”
The party agreed on continuing with its agenda for restoration of civilian supremacy, national independence and formation of a ‘national government’ during its next campaign from February 13 to April 6. However unlike the previous four phases of agitations that witnessed shutting down of offices, blocking of roads and general strikes, the next campaign would be peaceful and focus on publicity.
The UCPN (M) has pinned hopes on the High Level Political Mechanism to break the political deadlock and take the peace process ahead through consensus and draft the constitution. Since stepping down from power in May last year over the President’s refusal to approve sacking of the army chief, Nepal’s largest party in parliament is agitating seeking civilian supremacy.