OCHA Nepal Situation Overview Issue No. 55, 01 - 30 Nov 2009

Situation Report
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- Legislative-Parliament resumed after five months of continuous obstruction by the opposition

- Parliament passed the budget for fiscal year 2009/2010

- 2010 Disaster Preparedness Plan rolled out nationwide

- National Action Plan to combat Gender-Based Violence announced


Political Developments

Senior political party leaders continued to meet to try to resolve the political deadlock. However, there was little or no progress in resolving the protracted political deadlock among the three major parties- Unified Communist Party Nepal -Maoist (UCPN-M), Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML); little evidence of substantive progress was apparent.

The UCPN-M concluded the second phase of their protest programs to press for their demands for "Civilian Supremacy". The protests were peacefully concluded throughout the country. UCPN-Maoist Chairman Dahal closed the second phase of protest by announcing a deadline of 20 November for the government to fulfil their demands in particular "to either correct the President's move or allow a parliamentary debate on the issue". He further stated that the third phase of agitation would be decisive. The UCPN-M claimed that the government was not serious about ending the political stalemate.

However, the party announced that it would engage in dialogue with the other political parties and be flexible in order to end the political deadlock. The Maoists have indicated that the third phase protests would include general strikes, and an increased mobilization of supporters.

Following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on 5 November, the governing coalition issued a press statement indicating that "the agitations launched by the UCPN-M breach the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and undermine consensus and cooperation thereby giving rise to the risk of confrontation and conflict in the future". They called on the Maoists to stop the programme and "show flexibility for consensus".

The UCPN-M lifted the blockade of the Legislature- Parliamet (L-P) for a short period from 23-25 November to allow the passage of the 2009/10 budget to avert a financial crisis in government spending. The Maoist did not vote and resumed the blockade after the budget was passed. UCPN-M Chairman Prachanda met with President Yadav on 26 November to discuss the political situation. The President reportedly said that he would accept an agreement by the political parties aimed at ending the current deadlock.

The Constituent Assembly (CA) Committee on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles finalized its preliminary draft report and concept paper on 4 November. There are wide differences within the Committees on Restructuring of the State and Forms of Governance on key issues including the kind of federal and governance systems to be adopted.

Committee members have indicated that federalism and forms of governance issues need to be resolved by senior political leaders so that the work can proceed, but those leaders have been preoccupied with the political deadlock. It is likely that the four thematic committees that have yet to submit their concept papers.

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