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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Excerpt from report by Nepalese newspaper Kantipur on 30 January
[Interview with chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Prachanda, conducted by Kishor Nepal, headlined: "We made a compromise for the sake of constituent assembly elections". Date and venue not stated; subheadings inserted editorially]
[Kantipur] Now the Terai [plains in southern Nepal] problem is eating you up, isn't it?
[Prachanda] This is not solely a problem of the Madhesi people [people of the Terai] but also of the Pahade people [people of hill origin]. The Terai problem emerged because the spirit of people's war and the people's movements were not properly addressed. The state should address the demand for a federal system of governance. If we are able to do so then we will be able to isolate those who want anarchy.
[Kantipur] Didn't you make any effort [to address those demands] while drafting the interim constitution?
[Prachanda] It is not that we didn't make any effort. From the day we entered Baluwatar [prime minister's residence in Kathmandu], we tried for months to declare the country a republic. But it was not possible to make the seven parties agree to make such a declaration. Thereafter, for a long time, we stressed a federal system of governance and proportional representation in state governance.
In the draft of the interim constitution, we proposed in clear words that the state should be restructured along federal lines and elections should be held …