President may reject election ordinances without consensus
KOSH RAJ KOIRALA
KATHMANDU, July 28: In view of the protests from various opposition parties, President Ram Baran Yadav is unlikely to endorse two election- related ordinances forwarded to him by the government on Friday.
Sources said the president had already conveyed this to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai during their meeting on Friday afternoon. The president asked the prime minister to bring any election-related ordinance only in consensus with opposition parties as the election was not possible without broader political consensus.
"As election is not possible without political consensus, please bring such ordinances for authentication only after forging political consensus," the source quoted the president as telling Bhattarai.
The prime minister had handed over ordinances related to the Constituent Assembly Election (CA) Act 2069 BS, the Voters Roll Act 2069 BS and the Election Act 2069 BS to the president as per the cabinet decision earlier in the day. Next CA election is not possible without amending these Acts as well as amending some provisions in the Interim Constitution, the Election Commission (EC) has said.
The EC had requested the government to clear legal and constitutional hurdles within this week to hold the CA election on November 22 as announced in May. The EC had extended the original deadline of July 22 by a week after the government failed to clear the hurdles.
The president´s move came after opposition parties including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML asked him not to authenticate the ordinances without political consensus. The president himself has been publicly criticizing the government alleging it was trying to run the country through ordinances.
NC leader Ram Sharan Mahat said the governments´ move to bring election related ordinances without political consensus was not acceptable. "In view of the limited status of the current government, it is now the responsibility of the president to tell the prime minister that no [election-related] ordinances can be issued without political consensus," he said.
Mahat said they were, however, not against the election. "As a party believing in democratic principle, we favor election. But for that election to happen, the present government should go and a new national consensus government should be formed," he further said.
Another opposition party, UML, has said the government´s attempts to amend the election related acts without agreement with other parties was a ploy to prolong its stay in power. "This is nothing but a series of unconstitutional moves taken by the current government," said UML Spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali.
Gyawali alleged that the government was pushing the country toward a fresh confrontation instead of trying to reach out to the opposition parties.
"I see this also as an attempt to drag the president into controversy. This is a conspiracy to push the country towards the path of fresh confrontation instead of consensus," he further said.