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  • » 05/06/2011, 00.00

    NEPAL

    Maoists get Home Affairs Ministry amid fears of new violence

    Kalpit Parajuli

    Maoists now will be in charge of the country’s internal security. The appointment is the result of a secret deal between Communist PM Khanal and Maoist leaders. The party representing the former guerrilla fighters also controls 19,000 armed men.

    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal, head of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), is paying a hefty price for his election by giving the Home Affairs Ministry to the Maoists. The party representing the former guerrilla movement will now be in charge of the country’s internal security and its police forces. The same party also has 19,000 former guerrilla fighters still under arms waiting for integration into the armed forces.

    “Prime Minister Khanal made a serious blunder,” said K P Oli, a senior leader in the prime minister’s party. “We will take serious action against him.”

    Maoists are still armed, and are doing everything in their power to take over the country in order to turn it into a socialist state without the consent of the people, Oli lamented.

    Khanal’s decision is part of a secret deal worked out with the Maoist leadership, which backed his election to the post of prime minister in February and withdrew their own candidate, their historic leader Prachanda.

    According to Shusil Koirala, who chairs the Nepali Congress Party, “disputes over major issues like restructuring the state, federalism and changes to the executive branch cannot be solved without political will and honesty among the parties. Until we resolve these disputes, we cannot draft a new constitution.”

    After decades of civil war and the fall of the centuries-old monarchy, the caretaker government of the new Republic of Nepal (founded in 2006) in cooperation with the United Nations had elaborated a peace process that would see Maoist militias disbanded and a new constitution drafted.

    However, neither has actually occurred as Maoists, the military and opposition parties squabble over how to integrate the former guerrilla fighters.

    Recently, parliament postponed for a third time the presentation of new draft constitution, which had been set for 28 May 2011. 

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    See also

    14/02/2011 NEPAL
    Nepali Maoists refuse to back new government
    Former fighters cite secret agreement between newly elected Prime Minister Khanal and their leader, Prachanda. Maoists claim the Home Affairs and Defence ministries. The country’s stability is in danger after seven months without a government.

    25/09/2008 NEPAL
    Maoist government closing all night clubs
    Nightlife establishments will have to close by 11 pm. Home Affairs minister claims measure will help smash crime. Businesses and workers protest, go on strike.

    30/05/2011 NEPAL
    Parties reach deal to save Nepal’s peace process
    A first draft of the new constitution and guidelines to reintegrate Maoist fighters should be ready in three-month time. However, there are many questions about how prepared the parties are to work together. The deal for example lacks binding principles and a detailed agenda.

    16/08/2011 NEPAL
    Six fruitless months end in Premier Khanal’s resignation
    Opposition parties accuse him of conspiring to bring Maoists back into power. A new constitution now cannot be drafted by the deadline of 31 August. President Yadav calls for a new coalition government.

    20/05/2008 NEPAL
    Maoists confess their crimes on Buddha’s birthday
    In Buddha’s birthplace of Kapilvastu, Nepal’s main political parties confess their sins and pledge their commitment to peace. Maoist leader Prachanda is accused however of leading a still violent group.



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