Dr. Yadav invites CPN-Maoist to form the government; Delays in government formation; Madhav Nepal suggests Ram Bahadur Thapa as Prime Minister; PLA to stage agitation if their demands not met
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  • Nepal President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav invited the Maoists – as the single largest party in the Constituent Assembly (CA) – to form the government as per Article 38 (1) of the interim constitution1. The process of forming the next government was however becoming increasingly complicated due to lack of consensus between the four major political parties - CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress (NC), UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF). While the UML has suggested that the Maoists seek support from the NC, the later has accused the Maoists of failing to fulfill previous commitments and has expressed serious doubts on the ability of the Maoists to keep their commitments as laid down in the Common Minimum Program. Moreover, the NC leaders have also made it clear to the
    Maoists that the three-party alliance (NC, UML and MPRF) would continue2.

    The MJF coordinator, Upendra Yadav on his part stated that his party would not be part of the upcoming government and instead would play an active role in the framing of the new constitution by being in the opposition3. Also, the Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), which had supported the Maoists during the recent presidential polls, has decided not to join the new government4.

    Meanwhile, Madhav Kumar Nepal, the UML ex-general secretary stated that Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa alias Badal was a better candidate for the post of the prime minister than the Maoist party chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal or Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, the second-in-command5.

    In other developments, the Nepal government cancelled Dr. Yadav’s official visit to China due to delay in the formation of a new government. Dr. Yadav was scheduled to visit China from August 6-10 to take part in the inaugural function of the Beijing Olympics at the invitation of the government of China. He was also scheduled to hold a brief meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao6.

    Meanwhile, disappointed over the delay in the government formation, irregularities in getting monthly salaries for the past 11 months, and poor living conditions in the cantonments, the personnel of the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) belonging to the sixth and third division, decided to stage an agitation if the problems were not addressed within a week7. A spokesperson for the Third Division stated that they would be compelled to leave the cantonments if things did not improve. The Third Division had over 6,000 personnel, some of whom were disqualified during the second phase of verification. The disqualified personnel have also been staying in the cantonments8.

    Expressing concern over the recent political developments, the PLA deputy commander Mr.
    Barsa Man Pun alias Ananata threatened that Maoists’ militias could revolt against the State if appropriate measures were not taken regarding the effective management of the PLA personnel housed in various cantonments9.