Personal tools
You are here: Home News Analysis and Views Minimum Common Program And Formation of Government
Log in

Forgot your password?

Minimum Common Program And Formation of Government

Issue 32, August 10, 2008

By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

On august 02, 2008, leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) presented a draft Minimum Common Program (MCP) at the meeting of the 25 parties represented on the Constituent Assembly (CA) for discussion as demanded by the leaders of political parties to make it a common agenda of a national consensus government to be formed and led by the CPN-Maoist leader. The concept paper explicitly mentioned how to safeguard nationalism, to make Nepal a federal democratic republic restructuring the state, to complete the peace process, maintain security, provide the conflict-victims with immediate relief package and achieve reconstruction and socio-economic transformation.

The CPN-Maoist in its draft MCP concept paper repeated its commitment to the principles of an inclusive and competitive multiparty democratic system, a federal democratic republic, human rights, civil and fundamental rights to publication and rule of law, freedom of speech, social justice, forward-looking change and a lasting peace following the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007. It also expressed its commitment to respect the UN principles of rights of the ethnic indigenous people to self-determination and ensure the development of the language and culture of various ethnic groups.

The MCP is comprised of five programs such as 1) nationality and promotion of national interest, 2) institutionalization of a federal democratic republic and restructuring of State, 3) a lasting peace and assurance of peace and security, 4) immediate relief to the conflict-victims and reconstruction of infrastructures, and 5) drastic change in socio-economic development.

The CPN-Maoist is for reaching a national consensus on security, foreign policy and water resources with all political parties, and using them for the best interest of the country and the people.

On the foreign policy the CPN-Maoist proposes to review all treaties signed with other countries, and then replace them with new treaties, and redefine the foreign policy to suit the democratic republican setup in Nepal, and make concrete efforts on repatriating the Bhutanese refugees languishing at the camps in eastern Nepal.

The MCP says that the country shall be institutionalized in the federal democratic republic setup declared by the CA on May 28, 2008 scrapping all laws and regulations contradicting the May-28 declaration of the CA.

The draft MCP says that restructuring of the State would be done following the deals the Government of Nepal had reached with Madheshis, ethnic and indigenous communities and other political parties; representation of Madheshis, various ethnic groups, marginalized people and so on in the State agencies, police and army proportional to their population would be ensured.

The CPN-Maoist’s draft MCP proposes to revive the local bodies reaching a consensus with all political parties on it for making the smooth service delivery to the local people. Then, the local bodies will be provided with sufficient resources until a new arrangement is made for the local governance. It also proposes to set up a commission on restructuring the State administration to make the public service delivery smooth and efficient, and to make the State employees accountable to the public.

It also says that a national consensus government shall conclude the ongoing peace process following all the agreements including the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) the Government of Nepal had reached with the CPN-Maoist. Such a government completes the adjustment and rehabilitation of the Maoists’ combatants and management of Maoists’ arms within three to six months as the part of the peace process. It also sets up five high-level commissions such as 1) Commission on National Peace and Rehabilitation, 2) Commission on High-Level Truth and Reconciliation, 3) Commission on Restructuring State, 4) Commission on Disappearances and 5) Commission on Land Reforms as agreed on the CPA. It also constitutes a high-level security commission for formulating a new national security policy following the norms and values of the democratic republic.

It is also for setting up a special fund for providing families of the enforced-disappeared people, conflict-affected people and internally displaced people with immediate relief assistance. It accords a top priority to the reconstruction of the infrastructures destroyed during the conflict.

It suggests including the primary health care, employment and education up to high school in the fundamental rights of the people. It also proposes to reduce the age limit of senior citizens from 75 to 70 for the old age allowance. It pledges an increment in the allowance to widows and senior citizens.

To relieve the people from the shortage of fuel and food, it proposes to develop an effective mechanism for smooth supply of petroleum products all over Nepal and foodstuff in the food-shortage areas and develop a fair-price system to mitigate the sufferings of those living in poverty.

In order to develop national economy, it opts for a public-private partnership to expedite economic growth, and to reduce the level of poverty and unemployment. It will formulate short, medium and long-term development programs and strategies improving the National Planning Commission. It proposes to attract foreign investment in various sectors of the economy for industrialization and development of the country. It pledges dual citizenship to Non-Resident Nepalis to attract their investment in the national development.

It will accord priority to the development of agriculture, hydropower, tourism, and human resource and of infrastructures. In order to develop agriculture, the draft MCP is for launching a revolutionary land reform ending the feudalistic system. Regarding the development of the immense hydropower potential of Nepal, it allocates small and medium-scale hydropower projects for domestic investment, and large and export-oriented hydropower projects for foreign investment.

It also proposes to develop a concrete action plan to transfer all property of the former king and the property hidden in the names of his family members in the country and abroad to the State.

Members of the Nepali Congress (NC) attending the all-party meeting held to discuss the MCP left the meeting hall not bothering to discuss it after some time the CPN-Maoist leaders presented it. Speaking to the reporters, spokesperson for the NC Mr. Arjun Nar Singh KC said that his party would not accept the MCP until the Maoists would follow the past deals, and return the properties seized by the Maoists and take steps to creating environment for returning the displaced people to their homes. He also categorically rejected the three conditions such as functioning of a new government for two years, breaking up of the three-party alliance of NC, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML) and Madheshi People’s Rights forum (MPRF), and implementation of the pledges made by the CPN-Maoist to the people during the election.

On Sunday, August 07, 2008, speaking at a program in Kathmandu, General Secretary of NC Bimalendra Nidhi said the MCP has failed to incorporate progressive agendas; so, a taskforce comprising representatives of all 25 parties on the Constituent Assembly needed to prepare it.

Commenting on the MCP, General Secretary of CPN-UML JhalaNath Khanal said that it was not different from the election manifesto of the CPN-Maoist. He suggested the CPN-Maoist to revise the MCP. He also said that the MCP needed to reflect the agenda of other parties, too.

Rastriya Jan Shakti Party Vice-president Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani told the reporters that his party has decided to support the Maoists’ led government.

A day after the four major parties such as CPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML and MPRF agreed in principle on forming a Maoist-led national consensus government, they formed a taskforce to sort out issues and reach a national consensus on the same on Tuesday, August 05, 2008. The taskforce comprises of Dev Prasad Gurung of CPN-Maoist, Bhim Rawal of CPN-UML, Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and Dr. Minendra Rijal of NC and Upendra Yadav of the MPRF said Dev Gurung, speaking to ‘The Rising Nepal’ on Tuesday evening. He also said that the number of the members of the taskforce would increase, as the NC had sent two members against earlier agreement for one member from each party. "Each party now will have two members if the NC does not withdraw one of its representatives." [1]

On Wednesday, August 06, 2008, a meeting of the four-party taskforce ended inconclusively as the CPN-Maoist and the NC leaders couldn't reach consensus on the implementation of previous agreements. They decided to meet again on Thursday after the consultations with the top leadership of their respective parties on the issues of power sharing and preparation of a MCP. They engaged in charging and countering charging each other with not abiding by the previous agreements. They failed in discussing the subject matter of the MCP they were assigned for. [2]

The first meeting of the four-party taskforce constituted to sort out issues of minimum common program of the to-be-formed national consensus government and build an atmosphere for the same within three days ended without reaching any conclusion on any of the issues as the members had differing views on the mandate of the taskforce. "Despite the fact that the panel is entrusted with finalizing issues related with minimum common program of the national consensus government so that an environment for the same is built, the NC representatives wanted to discuss about power-sharing and review of past agreement which we think is not our business," Dev Gurung of CPN-Maoist said Wednesday evening speaking to ‘The Rising Nepal’. He said that representatives of the CPN-UML, MPRF as well as the Maoist proposed to discuss finalizing points of the MCP of the next government whereas the NC representatives stuck on reviewing implementation of the past agreements reached between the Maoist and the government and finalizing power-sharing beforehand.

However, CPN-UML representative on the taskforce Bhim Rawal said that the first meeting agreed in principle on seven points that include giving up the responsibility of supreme commander of the people’s liberation Army by the Maoist chairman Prachanda, return of seized property by the Maoist, distribution of allowances to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), change in Young Communist League’s (YCL’s) paramilitary structure and withdrawal of the cases filed against the Maoist leader during the war.

The taskforce is comprised of Dev Prasad Gurung and Krishna Bahadur Mahara of CPN-Maoist, Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and Dr. Minendra Rijal of NC, Bhim Rawal and Ishwar Pokharel of the CPN-UML and Upendra Yadav of MPRF. [3]

On Wednesday, August 06, 2008, Maoist chairman Prachanda instructed the party rank and file to dismantle paramilitary structure of the YCL and return all private and public property such as land and buildings seized during the conflict to the rightful owners following the agreements reached between the government and the CPN-Maoist in the past. In a statement, he instructed the YCL, party-sister wings, all fronts and departments associated with the party to act according to the party instructions. “With the State also implementing the agreements, we will also actively fulfill our commitments,” Prachanda said in the statement adding that the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction had recently decided to provide due allowances to Maoist combatants and relief to conflict-victims. He said mutual trust among the political parties had been decreasing due to non-implementation of the agreements and commitments by both the State and the Maoists. Agreements reached between the government and the Maoists on issues related to providing assistance to the families of those killed during the conflict, forming a commission on disappearances, management of cantonments, rehabilitation of the displaced families, returning seized property to rightful owners and dismantling paramilitary structure of the YCL were not effectively implemented and this created misunderstanding among the parties, he added. [4]

On Tuesday, August 05, 2008, Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction in a press release said that the government received Rs 3.035 billion in grants from the World Bank's Emergency Peace Support Program to provide Rs 100,000 to the families of each person killed during the decade-long Maoist insurgency and to pay the monthly allowance to the Maoist combatants. The Maoist combatants receive Rs 3,000 per month following the Comprehensive Peace Accord signed by the government and the Maoists. They have not received any payments for the last 13 months. [5]

On Tuesday, August 05, 2008, addressing his party workers in Lalitpur, President of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-Nepal) Kamal Thapa has accused NC and CPN-UML of blocking the formation of the Maoist-led government. Mr. Thapa leads the single pro-monarchy party represented in the CA. He said that the games played by 'forces within and outside the country employing particularly NC and CPN-UML are responsible for the delay in the formation of government. He accused the NC and CPN-UML of only paying lip service to let the Maoists lead the government. "NC and CPN-UML have been confused after the Maoists became the largest party after the CA election," he said. Mr. Thapa said that though his party was ideologically in the opposite pole with the Maoists, the two parties were close on the issue of nationalism. [6]

On August 06, 2008, speaking at a valley wide program held by his party’s youth wing called Youth Force in Kathmandu, General Secretary of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal said that his party would form a new government if the CPN-Maoist failed to do so within the deadline set by the president. "The country cannot move ahead without a government for a long time. Almost four months have elapsed since the historic CA elections but being the largest party, the CPN-Maoist has failed to form the government. If they do not succeed to form the government within the extended deadline, we wish to lead the next government," Khanal said. Khanal made public his statement while the task formed on Tuesday, August 05 has been working for reaching a consensus among the parties on power sharing and leadership. [7]

On August 06, 2008, speaking to the State-run Radio Nepal on the morning program called ‘Antar Sambad’ senior leader of CPN-Maoist Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said the country has been undergoing one political and economic crisis after another, Nepalese people have been suffering from the shortage of fuel all over the country and of food in western Nepal; the country has been in a state of anarchy; kidnapping of children of professionals, industrialists and traders have been the order of day; however, the leaders of the NC have been refusing to permit the CPN-Maoist form a new government. Had the NC garnered 120 seats on the CA, the NC would have formed a new government within a week. However, as soon as the CPN-Maoist became the largest party on the CA after winning 120 seats out of the 240 seats directly elected to the CA, the NC and CPN-UML put forward the condition of majority rule; the CPN-Maoist has resisted it for two months after that gave in to their demand and agreed on changing the Interim Constitution accordingly in view of if the CPN-Maoist did not agreed to it, would make wrong impression on the people. The CPN-Maoist wanted to make drastic changes in governance following the Nepalese people’s aspirations and their subsequent mandate for such changes; however, the status quoits did not want to turn over the power; they have been holding onto power by hook or crook. He quoted someone saying that they wanted to make the Maoist government a wheelchair government; in other words they wanted to bind hands and legs of the Maoists; then they run the administration. [8]

On August 06, 2008, speaking to the reporters after the meeting with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, representative of Terai Madhesh Democratic Party (TMDP) Sarbendra Sukla said that Prime Minister Koirala told them to unite all democratic parties and form a new government under his leadership; this would be a national consensus government. However, they have insisted on in forming a national consensus government including the CPN-Maoist. [9]

On August 07, 2008, Former House Speaker Daman Nath Dungana speaking to the State-run Radio Nepal on the morning program called ‘Antar Sambad’ said that Girija Prasad Koirala has been obstructing the formation of a new government led by the CPN-Maoist; opportunist Koirala has been responsible for the political confusion in Nepal; the peace process and the crafting of a Constitution have been at risk, as the old political parties have gone back to practicing their previous tactics; they would not build a new Nepal; so, the new emerging political parties such as CPN-Maoist, MPRF, TMDP and so on needed to take a lead in building a new Nepal. [10]

The NC has found it hard to accept defeat and its status as a junior partner to the Maoists. So, it has been obstructing the CPN-Maoist to form a new government. For months after the polls, Girija Prasad Koirala encouraged by the Army and the bureaucracy to make a claim for the President's post, as the sole force capable of countering the Maoists has been obstructing the formation of a new government. He calculated this was his final opportunity and, if he did not get the seat, he and his family would risk being marginalized from both national politics as well as his own party, where the Sher Bahadur Deuba faction has emerged stronger. [11]

Only a few political parties in Nepal adhere to the values and ideals of politics. Fair play in the politics has been a forgotten code. Struggle for supremacy has been the order of the day. Continual bickering and squabbling over the power sharing have irritated the Nepalese people. Political leaders have been working under the law of deceit and rule. The alliance of NC, CPN-UML and MPRF has destroyed the solidarity of all political parties. President of NC and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has stood behind all the political troubles, as the emergence of new political parties has threatened his leadership. He has been attempting to robe the people’s mandate other political parties have received in the election for the CA held on April 10, 2008.


[1] The Rising Nepal, August 06, 2008, “Task force to find basis for national consensus”

[2], August 07, 2008, “Task force meet snagged by past pacts”

[3] The Rising Nepal, August 7, 2008, “Four-party panel discusses MCP

[4] The Himalayan Times, August 7, 2008, “Prachanda tells YCL to demilitarize”; sd Aug 06 08, “Prachanda directs party organization to end para military activities of YCL”

[5] Aug 06 08 “Govt announces relief aid to conflict-hit families”;, August 06, 2008, “WB grant to pay PLA, conflict victims”

[6] sd Aug 06 08, Kamal Thapa accuses NC, UML of blocking formation of Maoist govt

[7] The Rising Nepal, August 07, 2008, “CPN-UML will head govt if Maoist cannot: Khanal”

[8] Radio Nepal, Morning Program ‘Antar Sambad’ of August 06, 2008

[9] Radio Nepal, 7:00 A.M., Morning News of August 07, 2008

[10] Radio Nepal, Morning Program ‘Antar Sambad’ of August 07, 2008

[11], August 03, 2008, “The imperfect Kathmandu tale”

Document Actions