In a bid to end a political deadlock, Nepal’s Maoists have announced a three-month timeframe to integrate their ex-combatants and dissolve the paramilitary youth wing, but the proposal failed to impress the main political parties struggling to forge a consensus.
The parties are struggling to meet an extended July 12 deadline set by President Ram Baran Yadav to suggest a name for the post of the Prime Minister based on consensus.
The Maoists, who ended their decade-long civil war in 2006, have been under pressure from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to dissolve the paramilitary organisation of its youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL), return seized property and to finalise the numbers and the timeframe for the integration of its former combatants with the security forces.
The United CPN-Maoist party yesterday set up a three-month schedule to manage and integrate the former guerrillas of the PLA and dissolve the paramilitary structure of the YCL.
Maoist Vice chairman Narayankaji Shrestha said all 19,000 combatants confined to various cantonments under UN supervision will be brought under the Army Integration Special Committee within two months.
Then they will be placed in two separate camps after seeking their views whether they wanted to join security forces or return to normal life through rehabilitation.
Thereafter, those interested to join the army will be integrated in the national army within a month.
The Maoists have also agreed to dissolve the paramilitary wing of YCL and return the property seized during the decade-long insurgency.
However, alliance partners in the caretaker government said they cannot accept Maoists’ leadership at present even after they agreed to integrate and rehabilitate their former combatants.
“We cannot accept a government headed by the Maoists at the moment,” said Ramchandra Poudyal, the Nepali Congress vice-president and hopeful for the post of the prime minister.
As the Maoists agreed to manage their combatants and dissolve their paramilitary organisation, they can join the government headed by other parties, he pointed out.
They will qualify to head the government only after their party is converted into a civilian one by implementing all the past agreements related to peace process, including returning seized property and dissolving the paramilitary wing, he said.
After their action plan did not meet a favourable reaction, Shrestha today said their party was ready to further amend their action plan, if the NC and CPN-UML give assurance of forming a national consensus government.
A crucial meeting of the three major parties -- main Opposition UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), the key alliance partners in the caretaker government -- to discuss the formation of a consensus government was postponed after CPN-UML president Jhalanah Khanal expressed his inability to attend the meeting.
Nepalese parties failed to meet an earlier July 7 deadline after prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal quit on June 30 following months of protests by the former rebels.
Senior leaders in the NC, the second largest party in the House, have also staked claim to head a new government, leading to a political deadlock in the country.
Political analysts here see no possibility of the formation of a consensus government as the time for setting up of such a coalition was running out.