Nepal: Maoists Ministers Resign
Posted by D and I Consulting on August 2, 2011
The Revolution in South Asia team has received these reports from the bourgeois press. We are eager to receive more information and reports from other sources regarding these events, but would also like to remind our readers to view this statement by the Kasama Project on the recent line struggle within the revolutionary movement in Nepal.
Maoists recall ministers
KATHMANDU, July 31: With Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal unfazed by pressure to change the Maoist ministers in his cabinet, largest coalition partner UCPN (Maoist) Saturday decided to withdraw its incumbent ministers, and also to withdraw support from the government on Sunday unless Khanal relents.
A standing committee meeting of the Maoist party on Saturday afternoon took the decision to this effect.
Maoist leaders said the next standing committee meeting on Sunday will discuss withdrawing the party´s support to the government if Prime Minister Khanal does not administer oath of office to the new Maoist minister-nominees by then.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal reached the prime minister´s official residence at Baluwatar in the evening and handed in the incumbent Maoist ministers´ joint resignation to Khanal as the latter did not induct the new ministerial nominees in the cabinet despite repeated ultimatums from the largest party in parliament.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Minister for Information and Communications Agni Sapkota had already tendered their resignations and vacated their official residences immediately after the Maoist party decided to change its team in the cabinet.
Maoist leaders said they are not going to wait any longer. “We will wait till Sunday to see whether or not the prime minister administers oath to our party´s nominees and then decide accordingly,” Maoist Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha, who was to lead the party in the government, told Republica.
Shrestha said his party is likely to withdraw its support from the government, and that would lead to the resignation of the prime minister. “The prime minister won´t have any option then other than to step down,” said Shrestha.
However, Khanal´s aides at Baluwatar said the prime minister still believed that the Maoist leaders wouldn´t take such a harsh decision. “The prime minister believes the Maoist leaders will not take such an unpleasant decision under the sway of emotion,” the prime minister´s press advisor, Surya Thapa, told Republica.
Leaders at Baluwatar think that such a decision would boomerang on the Maoists themselves and there is no alternative to reaching an understanding among the three major political parties with regard to settling the current stalemate.
“Such a decision will prove to be more harsh and unpleasant for the Maoist leaders themselves than for the prime minister,” Thapa said.
He said during the one-on-one talks with Dahal, the prime minister urged him to seek a solution that would also be acceptable to the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC), which has been obstructing parliamentary proceedings in recent days demanding formation of a national consensus government.
According to Thapa, the Maoist chairman told Khanal that he submitted the Maoist leaders´ joint resignation as per a party decision and he also was for ending the stalemate in consensus.
Prior to holding talks with Dahal, the prime minister also held a one-on-one meeting with Maoist Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the hardline faction in the party. “He insisted that the prime minister go ahead with inducting the new team of ministers in the cabinet,” said Thapa.
Maoist standing committee member Netra Bikram Chand, who is close to Baidya, said the standing committee meeting on Sunday will discuss whether or not to withdraw the party´s support to the government, depending on what action the prime minister takes.