Nepal's Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has said that his party does not intend to topple the Deuba government even though it has formed an electoral alliance with the CPN-UML. Addressing the Parliamentary Party yesterday, the former prime minister said the CPN (Maoist Centre), however, would quit the government if Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba wants so, the Kathmandu Post reported. Prachanda's Maoist Centre is key coalition partner of the Deuba government and it has been facing criticism for staying in the government despite forging an alliance with the main opposition. "We are not for affecting the polls by toppling the government. However, if the prime minister and his party, the Nepali Congress, ask us to leave, we wont continue in the government, he said, adding that the partys "only mission at this time is both the federal and provincial polls on the scheduled dates". Prachanda's Maoist party on October 3 announced an alliance with the country's largest communist bloc CPN-UML, ahead of key elections seen as the final step in the Himalayan nation's post-war transition to a federal democracy. The two parties, with a third smaller partner Naya Shakti Nepal, have agreed a tie up for general elections later this year, and plan to unify as a single communist party following the polls. Prachanda, however, told his party members on Saturday that there were "some procedural lapses while taking the decision of forging a left electoral alliance with the CPN-UML and the Naya Shakti Nepal. During the Maoist partys politburo meeting and political training, Prachanda, however, admitted that forging the alliance without putting the matter for discussion at any of the committees of the party, which is a routine procedure, was a mistake, the daily said. Leaders including former finance minister Barshaman Pun had questioned the leadership about what he called "a surprising and abrupt announcement". Prachanda, however, tried to defend the move, saying the decision to forge an alliance with the UML was a result of "extreme pressure and compulsion". He also made it clear that the decision of such a huge importance should have been taken after holding extensive discussions at different party committees. "But that could not happen," he said. The left alliance, leaders of both the UML and Maoist Centre have said, is a precursor to a unified "communist force". Prachanda yesterday told his party members that he himself had proposed unity between the Maoist Centre and the UML when the latter had come up with the proposal of forging an electoral alliance. Though a section of leaders expressed their dissatisfaction at not discussing the issue within the party before the announcement, all Maoist Centre leaders were of the view that there had been some problems with the partys partnership with the Nepali Congress and that a left alliance was but required. Prachanda's "pressure and compulsion" argument stems from the fact that the Maoist Centre, which has gone through highs and lows since it joined the mainstream politics in 2006, of late had been finding itself cast adrift, the daily said. Despite emerging as the single largest party in the first Constituent Assembly elections in 2008, the party lost its sheen by the time the second CA elections were held, when it faced a drubbing. The Maoists have dominated Nepal's politics for more than 20 years after waging a decade-long insurgency against government forces that claimed more than 16,000 lives. The civil war ended in Nepal in 2006 and Maoist leader Prachanda became the country's first post-war prime minister. The 240-year-old Hindu monarchy was abolished two years later.
General elections next month is being seen as the final step in the country's post-war transition to a federal democracy. The country recently concluded local-level elections in two decades. Nepal has been witnessing political instability for a long time. Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.
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