Kathmandu: It has been revealed that the Chairman of CPN (Maoist Center), in a letter jointly signed by him and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, had promised to request the Speaker of the House to table the Compact for parliamentary ratification.
The content of the letter obtained by Nepal Live Today through a source close to the Office of the Prime Minister shows that, together with PM Deuba, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ had promised to “jointly request the speaker of the House of Representatives to plan for the tabling of the compact for the ratification as soon as possible.”
Likewise, they had also stated that they would “discuss the clarifications received from the MCC with all the coalition partners to better inform our party members” and “use government of Nepal resources to communicate publicly with the Nepali people and state the government’s support for implementing the compact and to dispel misunderstandings and apprehensions about the compact.”
The letter also promises to “hold a joint press conference with leaders of the coalition partners to demonstrate the government’s positive view on the MCC ratification” apart from disseminating “accurate information about the compact through state media.”
The letter sent to the MCC in the last week of September last year expresses commitment to “encourage the MCA Nepal to complete technical and communication activities that will allow the compact to be implemented quickly.”
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, on November 4, 2021, had revealed on his arrival from Glasgow at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu that ‘Prachanda’ and he had written a joint letter to the MCC assuring of parliamentary ratification of the Compact as soon as possible. Speaking with journalists, Prime Minister Deuba had said, “Prachanda and I have already sent a letter saying that we will ensure the endorsement of the MCC.”
Prachanda has been refusing that he had made any promise regarding the endorsement of the MCC.
While PM Deuba has been insisting that the Compact is in favor of Nepal, Prachanda, who is the coalition partner in the government, has been consistently opposing the idea of giving parliamentary ratification to the USD 500 million grant of the Millenium Challenge Corporation.
He and the leaders of his party have maintained that the Nepal Compact cannot be endorsed without an amendment on it. He is also alleged to have directed the Speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Prasad Sapkota not to table the Compact in parliament for deliberation and subsequent endorsement.
Prachanda, who thus made a promise to the MCC, has taken a volte-face in recent times. On Thursday, while making a virtual address to a meeting of the party’s Karnali Province Committee, Prachanda said the Compact will not be endorsed in the status quo.
While the position of opposition by the Maoist Center has raised the risks of collapse of the current coalition, experts have also warned that opposition by Maoist Center toward the US development grant could jeopardize the relations of the Maoist party with the US.