KATHMANDU, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) — The country’s largest party UCPN (Maoist) has proposed a 11-state federal model in the new constitution, according to sources with the party.
The party made the proposal in its election manifesto prepared for the November 19 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. It proposed eight federal states in the hilly region and three in the Southern belt known as Terai\Madhes, and said it has made the proposal with consideration given to certain ethnic community\ nationalities.
However, other parties have raised objection to the Maoist proposal, saying that naming the states by certain ethnic groups or nationalities will incur a confrontation in the country. The party has proposed just three states in the southern belt where 51 percent of the country’s population reside.
At a public program organized to unveil the party’s election manifesto, party senior leader Baburam Bhattarai said his party put forward such proposal in order to empower certain nationalities of the country that are facing suppression by some upper groups.
The issue of federalism was one of the contentious issues among the political parties during the constitution drafting process since 2008. Other major parties such as Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, however, have proposed only seven states, insisting that it is not economically viable to go for more states in the federalism.
In its manifesto, the UCPN (Maoist) has also proposed a directly elected president as head of state, arguing that for the management of federalism a powerful president is required.
The party has also unveiled some social and economic agendas.
“The unemployment will be totally eradicated within 15 years if our government is formed after the promulgation of new constitution,” said Bhattarai when unveiling the party’s ambitious manifestos. The unemployment rate is high in Nepal currently, as every year millions of Nepalese go abroad seeking jobs.
The party also said that if the Maoist party obtains the leadership of the government, Nepal will become one of the richest countries in the world by 2040.