KATHMANDU, Aug 13: The government has started formal talks with the CPN-Maoist led 33-party alliance on Tuesday. The meeting of between the government talks team led by Minister for Home Affairs Madhav Prasad Ghimire and Maoist secretary Dev Gurung-led team of the 33-party alliance was held at Hotel Himalaya in Lalitpur.
During the talks, the alliance submitted an 18-point demand, which includes dissolution of the Khilaraj Regmi-led government. The alliance had made the same demands at a meeting with High Level Political Committee (HLPC) a few days ago.
Earlier, Baidya-led CPN-Maoist had said that it would hold talks only with the president saying the government and HLPC do not have the political legitimacy.
“We urged government to create an environment for political consensus by making way for the formation of a government led by political parties. We also urged the government not to listen only to the four major parties,” Mani Thapa, general secretary of Revolutionary Communist Party of Nepal, told Republica.
Representatives of alliance during the talks told the government team that the current government could play a historic role in forging consensus between the political parties.
“We urged them not to miss such an opportunity. We also said the government would fail if it conducts election at the behest of four parties,” added Thapa.
In response, the government´s team urged the alliance to participate in the polls, saying the government was formed with the sole purpose of holding election. The government team also told that it cannot fulfill the demands of alliance.
“The government will not postpone the elections scheduled for November 19,” said government´s Spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Madhav Paudel after talks with alliance. According to Paudel, the talks focused on the 18-point demand of the alliance.
Emerging from the meeting, Gurung, who led the alliance´s talks team, said, “Talks are heading in a positive direction.”
Ghimire, Paudel and Minister for Health Biddhyadhar Mallik from the government and Gurung, Thapa and Maoist leaders Haribhakta Kandel, Suresh Ale Magar and other leaders from the alliance participated in the meeting.