Nepalese Standoff Over as Prachandra Quits

In Nepal there was a tense stand-off as the Maoists threatened to leave the government unless the monarchists were completely cut out of future government. Koirala and the 8-parties want to go with a constituent assembly, which is reasonable. If the country is to have a future all must participate in that, to leave any out is to create disaffected and disenfranchised groups — a sure formula for future strife.

More at Malaysia Times:

Kathmandu, Sept 18 : The leaders of four main political parties in Nepal, including Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Chairman Prachanda, are holding a meeting here in a last ditch effort to break the political stalemate over the Maoist demand for declaring the Himalayan nation a republic ahead of the Constituent Assembly elections.

The Maoist demand for abolition of monarchy ahead of the election has been rejected by the Government. The Maoists have threatened to quit the Government if their demand is not accepted.

Koirala rejected the Maoist demand saying declaration of Nepal as a republic before the Constituent Assembly polls would not get legitimacy and popular mandate.

The meeting commenced at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar Tuesday morning in an effort to persuade the Maoists against quitting the government and launching agitation.

The Maoists have planned a mass meeting later today to announce their withdrawal from the Government and launch an agitation after the deadline for declaring Nepal as a republic ended on Monday night.

CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and NC-Democratic President Sher Bahadur Deuba are also attending the four-party meeting.

CPN (Unity Centre) General Secretary Prakash, who is mediating between the Maoists and the top leaders of seven other ruling parties, is also participating

True to form, the Maoists did quit the government after their demands were not met:

KATHMANDU, Sept 18 – Just four and a half months after joining the government, the CPN-Maoist has quit the government as talks held among the major parties at the Prime Minister’s Residence at Baluwatar Tuesday morning to convince the former rebels to stay in the interim administration ended inconclusively.

All four Maoist ministers—Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dev Gurung, Hisila Yami and Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma—tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today as a crucial meeting of the top leaders of the four major political parties– the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, CPN-M and NC-D– held at Baluwatar this morning failed to convince the former rebels not to quit the government