No Option To Polls

Sharbendranath Shukla, leader of Terai-Madhesh Loktantrik party

May 16, 2013, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 06 No. -22 May. 10- 2013 (Baishakh, 2070)

How do you see the possibility of holding the elections in November?

There is no option other than to hold the elections for the Constituent Assembly in November. I am pretty sure that there will be election in November and all political parties will take part in it.

CPN-Maoist leaders have already made it clear that they will boycott the election.

CPN-Maoist leaders will not take such a non-political decision.  We have already opened informal channels to discuss this with CPN-Maoist. I think they will join the elections.

CPN-Maoist has put forth so many demands, including the resignation of the current government and dissolution of the High Level Political Mechanism. How do you look at this?

It is natural for any political party to put forth a number of demands. We have already made it clear that we are ready to discuss their demands. If CPN-Maoist agrees to participate in the elections, we can accommodate them in the political committee also.

As the last Constituent Assembly got dissolved without promulgating the constitution, do you see any chance for the new constitution to come through the new CA?

It is unfortunate that the previous Constituent Assembly failed to promulgate the new constitution. You cannot deny the right of the people to write the new constitution through the CA by showing the failure of past experiments. There are instances in other parts also where several elections were held for CA. Even some countries scrapped the constitution made by CA. In the case of Nepal, people struggled for more than 60 years to write the constitution through CA.

You have said there will be elections in November. However, the Election Commission is yet to send its team for voters IDs. How do you look at this?

Political parties have already launched their election campaigns by registering their parties in the Election Commission. Some political parties have even launched other related activities. Looking at the various activities, there is a congenial environment for holding the elections. Of course, CPN-Maoist cadres have been disrupting the election process in some areas, but there are no obstructions in large areas. So far as distribution of IDs is concerned, it is going on at a good pace. If the Election Commission cannot issue the IDs to all, people should not be denied the right to vote.

How do you see the possibility of electoral alliance between Madhes-based parties and UCPN-Maoist?

I outrightly reject the idea of electoral alliance with UCPN-Maoist.  There is the need to develop a leadership in Madhesh. If we contest the elections on the basis of alliance, UCPN-Maoist will dominate the elections. As Maoist party is a communist party, which believes in a central rule, we cannot make any alliance with the party which does not believe in federalism or devolution of power.

What about the alliance among the parties based in Madhesh?

I cannot rule out the possibility of a grand alliance of all political parties based in Madhesh. We are negotiating with various political parties on this issue. I think we will have some kind of alliance in the coming elections.

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