KATHMANDU, June 26: Civil society leaders have told Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai that the country cannot come out of the current political crisis until political parties forge consensus and urged him to take initiatives for consensus.
During a meeting with Bhattarai at his official residence at Baluwatar Tuesday, civil society leaders said the prime minister must collaborate with the president to forge consensus among the parties.
"We suggested to the prime minister to set a concrete agenda for holding talks with political parties and present the agenda both to the president and the parties," said Shyam Shrestha, who was present at the meeting with Bhattarai.
According to him, they also stressed the need for mediators for bringing the ruling and opposition parties to negotiating table. "As the political parties themselves cannot forge consensus now without mediation, we told him (Bhattarai) that the parties should be clear about whether they need national or international mediation for talks," Shrestha added.
Civil Society members with PM. (Photo: PMO)
He said if all the parties want mediation of the civil society, they are ready to play the role.
Saying that only the two legitimate bodies in the absence of parliament are the president and the government, the civil society leaders said the two should avoid making provocative statements which could lead to confrontation.
Shrestha said they told the prime minister that the stance of the opposition parties that they would not sit for talks until the prime minister resigns is illegitimate.
After listening to the civil society leaders, Bhattarai asked them mediate to bring the ruling and the opposition parties to talks.
"I don´t want to cling on to the prime minister´s chair, but the present situation does not allow me to quit," Shrestha quoted Bhattarai as saying at the meeting.
Civil society leaders Shrestha, CK Lal, Daman Nath Dhungana, Mathura Prasad Shrestha, Pitamber Sharma, Sundarmani Dixit and Padma Ratna Tuladhar were present at the meeting with the prime minister.