02/08/2008, 00.00
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Maoists reactivate underground councils, break with government

by Kalpit Parajuli
Despite being in the ruling coalition government, Maoists break the peace deal agreed to in November 2006 and revive local “people’s councils” to “manage” the upcoming elections to the constituent assembly.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Maoist party, a major constituent of the ruling Seven Party Alliance, has decided to reactivate its Janasarkar or people’s government (underground councils) under the name of United Revolutionary People's Councils (URPC), thus breaking with the Comprehensive Peace Accord they signed along with the other parties in November 2006 and which successfully overthrew the monarchy.

The decision to revive the councils was taken last night by the central committee of the Maoist party. In blatant disregard for the agreements undertaken with their coalition partners, two Maoist government ministers, Information and Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Local Development Minister Dev Gurung, will co-ordinate the aforementioned bodies.

These councils were in operation for more than a decade and acted as a local ‘parallel government’ in lieu of the institutions of Nepal’s royal government, which Maoists did not recognise, exercising de facto legislative and executive authorities in areas under Maoist control.

“We decided to reactivate our already existing United Revolutionary People's Councils to continue the party's ideological relationship with people across the country,” said Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai.

For him URPCs will work at the local level to manage the constituent assembly poll which is scheduled to take place next April.

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