05/06/2011, 00.00
NEPAL
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Maoists get Home Affairs Ministry amid fears of new violence

by 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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