present government will remain until the completion of the peace and constitution writing processes. PM said

KATHAMNDU, NOV 26 – At a time when the Nepali Congress (NC) is demanding the leadership of the government after November 30, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Friday said that the present government will remain until the completion of the peace and constitution writing processes.

He said regrouping of Maoist combatants and formation of the State Restructuring Commission are historic achievements and that it was all possible after the formation of the present government.

Talking to the Post at his office in Singha Durbar, Bhattarai said the change in government at this point will put the peace and constitution-writing processes at risk. “Under my leadership, there has been substantial progress in these processes that had stalled for the past five years; as such, there is no need to change the government,” he said.

Another opposition party, the CPN-UML, has been demanding Bhattarai’s resignation, stating that the current government could not get the shape of a national consensus government as mentioned in the seven-point deal. Bhattarai, who was reluctant to comment on the UML’s fresh position, said there is no better alternative to the present government.

Though the NC and the UML have already made it clear that they will not join the government, Bhattarai said he is ready to transform his government into a

consensus one by reshuffling the Cabinet. He also proposed a high-level political mechanism comprising top leaders of three major parties to share the credit for

the completion of the peace and constitution writing processes.

He said a six month’s period is required to complete the constitution writing process as the process of approving every article of the constitution from the Constituent Assembly will be lengthy. The government has tabled a bill in the Parliament seeking another six-month extension of the CA.

Bhattarai further said he was confident that there would not be problems in the integration process. As the number of combatants opting for integration is likely to cross the 6,500 mark, Bhattarai said the number could be increased with an understanding at the political level.

He said the government is talking with donor agencies to manage resources for combatants willing to go into voluntary retirement.by KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI from ekantipur

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