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Nepal Maoists claim to form govt in June polls

January 11, 2007

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KATHMANDU, Jan 10: Nepal’s Maoists predicted on Wednesday they would form a majority government after elections slated to be held in June. It is likely that after the election of the constituent assembly our party will be able to form its own government. A government of absolute majority is going to be formed, C.P. Gajurel, the Maoist head of international relations, told journalists.

Elections to the constituent assembly, which will rewrite Nepal’s constitution permanently and decide the fate of the 238-year-old monarchy, are due to be held by June 2007.

The former rebels have already been granted 73 seats in a 330-seat interim parliament in a deal expected to be approved formally on Jan 15.

Under the terms of the deal, they will place their weapons and armies under United Nations supervision, paving their way to be recognised as a political party to contest polls.

Despite being poised to enter mainstream politics after 10 years of war, the Maoists will remain true to their Communist revolutionary roots, the senior Maoist leader said.

Since we are Maoists, we have not abandoned Marxism, Leninism, Maoism. We are upholding it, said Gajurel, who was released from prison in India late last year.

The party will continue to have fraternal relations with like-minded groups in other countries, including India, where authorities are battling Maoist insurgents in 15 of 29 states, he said.

I would like to make clear that the relations between those parties in India are not working relations, only theoretical relations because we have the same ideology. It will not affect relations between the two states, Gajurel said.—AFP