Nepal’s for­mer Maoist PM an­nounces new ri­val party

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

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