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Nepal: SPA's roadmap to peace

By Sheela Bhatt in Kathmandu
April 24, 2006 19:35 IST
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Nepal's Seven Party Alliance has announced the roadmap to peace.

According to Nepal Congress spokesman Krishna Sitaula, all political parties of Nepal have agreed on an multi-phase programme for the restoration of normalcy which will be in the following sequence:

1) The King will have to announce the restoration of Parliament of 2005.

2) Multi-party government accountable to Parliament will be formed. This government will last for a very short tenure of probably a month or less.

3) That restored Parliament will, on the very first day, announce the declaration of intent to have election of Constituent Assembly without setting the time-limit. Also, importantly, Parliament in the same session will invite the Maoists to debate issues pertaining to the Constituent Assembly. Although in the past, Maoists have twice been invited for talks, this time there is an agenda to discuss the issue of Constituent Assembly with them, said Sitaula.

4) The interim government wil be formed with the Maoists on board.

5) The interim government sets in motion a process to elect the Constituent Assembly.

The SPA believes that Maoists should agree to this schedule.

Sitaula said the Maoists need not worry that the King and Parliament will gang up to crush their movement. He assured that political parties will abide by the agreement between them and the Maoists.

The Nepalese movement has reached its peak in which 5,000 people have been injured ,16 have died and three are missing, said Sitaula.

He said this movement has brought 6 million people onto the streets of Nepal to protest aginst the King. People want a Republic of Nepal. In August 2005, the Nepal Congress had changed its manifesto by withdrawing support to the constitutional monarchy.

When asked if the Maoists would surrender arms before talks start with them, he said, "Don't say 'surrender of arms', it's an issue of management of arms."

He said that since the last five decades, the issue of controlling of the army is the most crucial and has still not resolved.

The meeting between political parties and the Maoists will debate over who should control Nepal's Army.

Situala said that parties and Maoists believe that it should be under the elected government. He was hopeful that within seven days some positive result is expected.

If, before Tuesday's massive show of stregth by political parties, the King announces the restoration of Parliament then the scheduled rally will turn into the victory rally, he said.

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Sheela Bhatt in Kathmandu