Dahal upbeat on reaching accord

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KATHMANDU, APR 10 – UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal expressed optimism on Thursday over reaching consensus with the ruling parties on key contentious issues of new constitution.

The main opposition party leader maintained that consensus is possible if the ruling parties respect the past agreements, especially the Comprehensive Peace Accord. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with a delegation of European Parliament, Dahal said that consensus has been delayed due to ruling parties’ arrogance. In the meeting, the delegation expressed concern over the delay in forging consensus among parties on the constitutional issues.

They advised all the forces concerned to complete the tasks of constitution drafting soon, and start the journey of economic prosperity.

“We have not presented any new demands. Consensus is possible if the past agreements are properly implemented,” Dahal said. The negotiation has resumed between the major parties after the opposition called off the general strike.

“The agreement forged with women, Dalit, Madhesi, Muslim and other marginalised communities should be the basis of new statute,” said the Maoist chair, while reiterating that new constitution cannot be drafted on the back of CA majority. Meanwhile, the European delegation held a separate meeting with CA Chairman Subas Nembang. The delegation suggested that it would be better to draft a new constitution on the basis of the consensus, Nembang said. A member of the delegation even asked about the possibility of a third CA election if the current Assembly fails to draft a new constitution, Nembang told reporters. “The question surprised me. I told them that the possibility of third CA polls is out of my imagination,” he said, adding that he assured the delegation that this CA itself would draft a new constitution.