Nepal government would fall within weeks: Prachanda

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS,

Kathmandu : Maoist chief and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda Monday said the month-old ruling coalition of new premier Madhav Kumar Nepal would fall ‘within weeks’ and a new national government would be formed.

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Prachanda, whose party’s top leadership Monday winded up their 13-day meeting to chalk out future strategy, dismissed Nepal’s fledgling government as a ‘drop of water’ and said there was no question of his party joining it.

However, he said the six-party communist-led government would fall ‘in a matter of weeks’ and a national government would come to fore.

He also dismissed the fresh controversy about the merger of the Maoists’ guerrilla army, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with the national troops, saying the integration would proceed as it had done during his eight-month government when he himself had headed the special committee formed to address the thorny issue.

When Nepal was sworn in last month – as the 18th prime minister of Nepal in less than 19 years – the Maoists had given his government three months.

The communist-led government had a rocky start with the cabinet unable to expand beyond three ministers due to bitter infighting among his allies for cushy ministries.

Even now, after three expansions and a cabinet of 30, Nepal is still struggling to include all the allies.

The Maoist prediction comes even as the government Monday formed a team under senior communist leader and former minister Ishwor Pokhrel to reach an understanding with the former rebels.

Since the fall of their government May 4, the Maoists have kept up a siege on parliament, refusing to let it conduct its business.

The nearly two-month delay has raised fears that the republic would miss its date with history and fail to promulgate a new constitution by next May.

Pokhrel has been asked to mediate with the Maoists so that the siege is called off.

Nepal is asserting that his government would complete its mandate of writing the new constitution by next year.