Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda' have reached a fresh agreement to abide by the spirit of the seven-point agreement signed before Mr. Khanal's election, while clarifying its controversial aspects. The Maoists, who had earlier said they would not join the government, have now revised their decision, and would share major portfolios with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist).
Mr. Khanal and Mr. Prachanda issued a joint statement on Tuesday, clarifying that the agreement was signed to complete the historic responsibility of writing the constitution and establishing lasting peace. They urged other parties “not to suspect the intentions behind the seven point pact and move ahead to protect the achievements of the People's Movement such as republic, federalism, democracy, secularism, proportional representation, inclusion and social justice”. The statement clarified that the integration of the Maoist army combatants would take place as per the recommendation of the Special Committee, in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The two leaders expressed commitment to move forward in consultation with all the major parties, and urged them to join the government.
Following the joint statement, the Prime Minister and Mr. Prachanda met on Wednesday morning and agreed on a broad power-sharing pact.
The Maoists will get 11 ministries, including Home, Foreign Affairs, and Peace and Reconstruction. While the party standing committee will decide the names on Thursday, Maoist international affairs department chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara is expected to become the Foreign Minister, while its military department chief Barshaman Pun ‘Ananta' may get the Home. UML leader Bharat Mohan Adhikari has already been sworn in as the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. The UML will also keep the Defence Ministry. Speaking on the sidelines of a party programme in Pokhara, Mr. Prachanda said the government would take full shape by Thursday.