Nepal’s former Maoist PM announces new rival party
KATHMANDU—Nepal’s former Maoist prime minister Baburam Bhattarai announced a new political party on Sunday in an attempt to attract legions of voters disillusioned with mainstream leaders.
Waving flags of the new centre-left party, thousands gathered at a stadium in Kathmandu where Bhattarai vowed to focus on bringing economic development to the impoverished Himalayan nation.
Bhattarai, prime minister from August 2011 to March 2013, played a key role in bringing the Maoists into the political mainstream after the end of their decade-long insurgency in 2006.
But Bhattarai quit the main Maoist party last September over the adoption of Nepal’s controversial new constitution, and after years of playing second fiddle to Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda.
“Today we announce the establishment of a new political party, Naya Shakti Nepal, an alternative political force... to fulfil the hope of justice, equality, freedom, identity, liberty and prosperity of the people,” Bhattarai told the cheering crowd.
A coalition of mainly left-wing parties including the main Maoist party form the current government.
Bhattarai’s move came weeks after the Maoists joined hands with hardline splinter groups to form their own new party in an attempt to bolster their strength.— APP during a Hague.
The European Union agreed in March to offer Turkey visa-free access by July 1, increased aid and speeded up accession talks in return for Ankara controlling the flood of migrants crossing into Greece.
But Turkey has yet to fulfill all of the conditions laid down by the European Commission for the visa agreement, including changes to Ankara’s antiterrorism laws to meet EU concerns over human rights.
Turkey’s European Affairs Minister Omer Celik admitted the July 1 deadline would be missed in an interview late Friday with Dutch broadcaster NOS — the first official such acknowledgement by Ankara. “If we are realistic, we are not going to achieve this date,” he said. —Agencies visit to the