September 5, 2010 2:32:21 am
Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) chairman Prachanda appeared close to a deal with two Madhesi parties ahead of Sundays prime ministerial election.
The UCPN-M is in the thick of controversy following a report by Nepal One TV an India-based channel that a senior Maoist leader had got in touch with a Chinese authority for monetary backing to buy support of 50 MPs at Rs 1 crore each. Apparently,the Maoist party has proposed a concrete power-sharing formula with two Madhesh-based rival parties Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and MJF (Democratic).
The formula suggests that MJF chief Upendra Yadav and MJF-D chief Nijay Gachhedar,both,will be made Deputy Prime Minister and assigned Foreign and Home ministries in case Prachanda is elected Prime Minister in tomorrows race, an MJF-D leader told The Sunday Express. We will take a final and formal decision tomorrow,prior to the sixth round of voting, he added.
The UCPN-M,which has 236 members in the House,will be able to secure simple majority if the two forums with 54 members,the Nepal Peasants and Workers Party with 5 and other smaller parties with a combined strength of 9 vote in favour of Prachanda.
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Meanwhile,UCPN-M Foreign Affairs chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara who Nepal One TV accused of having solicited financial assistance from a Chinese official challenged the media to prove the authenticity of its report. It is a conspiracy to defame me and my party. This is character assassination, Mahara said. Such things can be done using technology. I have not spoken to any Chinese or any other foreigners,seeking financial help, he said. This controversy was created because they know we are closer to securing a majority in the House.
The two prime ministerial candidates Prachanda and Nepali Congresss Ramchandra Poudel have failed to secure a simple majority in the earlier five rounds of voting. But neither has withdrawn from the contest.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) has said that it would remain neutral. We will continue to encourage parties to explore to form a government based on consensus because without that we cannot prepare the new constitution, said party general secretary Ishwar Pokharel.
An MJF-D leader said: We are trying to get the Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party,with 20 members,to our side. But they are insisting on Finance and Education portfolios,something the Maoists are not keen on giving, he said.
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