Monday, November 29, 1999

Nepal Maoists to frame own Constitution

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The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) on Sunday warned that it would promulgate its own Constitution on May 29, a day after the deadline set for the Consituent Assembly expires.The decision was taken by the Politburo of the party chaired by its chief Prachanda. The UCPN-M believes it has the mandate of the people and will, therefore, exercise its right and responsibility by framing the Constitution.The party had assigned the responsibility of preparing the draft of the Constitution to Baburam Bhattarai, its ideologue. It hopes to establish "people's democracy" with a multi-party system. However, not all existing political parties will be accepted as the legitimate under the new set up. "Feudals and agents of foreign forces will not be allowed to operate," a senior party official told Indian Express.The Maoist move clearly shows that it is not going to support the initiative taken by the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) to extend the tenure of the Constituent Assembly unless Prime Minister Madhav Nepal resigns. "The Politburo was clear that the leadership of Madhav Nepal will not be acceptable and we will not cooperate in extending the House's tenure," K B Mahara, the party's spokesperson said.The draft Constitution favours pursuing an independent foreign policy and scrapping of all inequal treaties that have been signed with various countries in the past.

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