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Maoists, CPN-UML to share top posts, leave out Koirala's party

Source: PTI
June 20, 2008 18:58 IST
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In a significant political move, the Maoists and another Communist party have forged a pact to share the two top posts of executive premier and president in a new set-up, sidelining Prime Minister G P Koirala's Nepali Congress.
During a meeting between the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist chief Prachanda and Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist general secretary Jhalanath Khanal, an understanding was reached that the former rebels be given the post of prime minister while the president's post will go to the UML, party sources said.
"However, we have proposed to give the post of chairman of the 601-member constituent assembly to the Nepali Congress," Khanal told PTI.
Khanal said the proposal will be forwarded for approval to the meeting of the ruling multi-party alliance to be held later.
The UML had staked its claim for the post of president after the Maoists outrightly rejected 83-year-old Koirala's candidature. Khanal, however, said they have not yet decided about who should be their candidate for the president.
Speculation is rife in Kathmandu that either former CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal or outgoing speaker of the interim parliament Subhash Nemwang would be named for the top post from the party.

In the new scenario of political polarisation when the two largest Communist parties are forging an alliance, there is a possibility of Nepali Congress choosing not to remain in the cabinet, sources said.
The Maoists had emerged as the largest party in the landmark April 10 constituent assembly polls, bagging 220 seats, followed by Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, which received 110 and 103 seats respectively.
"We will focus our attention on drafting a democratic constitution by playing the role of a constructive opposition," said Nepali Congress spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC, just before participating in the multi-party meeting at Baluwatar.

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