KATHMANDU, Aug 6: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday urged all the major political parties to forge consensus to resolve the current political deadlock.
During the meeting held with the top leaders of various 18 political parties and former prime ministers at Shital Niwas, Yadav expressed concern over lack of consensus between the political parties even two months after the demise of the Constituent Assembly (CA). “You definitely would not like Nepal to share the fate of Afghanistan. You are responsible for running and safeguarding the country´s interests,” a leader quoted president as saying.
Opposition leaders participating in the meeting told the president that consensus was still elusive as the UCPN (Maoist) has refused to quit the government until there is package agreement between the political parties on all the contentious issues in constitution writing.
During the meeting, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that his party was ready to quit the government as per the five-point deal once there is an agreement between all the parties on all contentious issues of constitution writing.
Arguing that revival of CA after settling all contentious issues in constitution writing would be the best option to resolve the current political crisis, Dahal said that the ruling parties were also ready to discuss a new election date with the opposition parties.
However, opposition party leaders argued that the caretaker prime minister would have to step down first to pave the way for formation of a unity government. “The prime minister has to vacate the post first. There is no alternative to forming a consensus government to resolve the ongoing political crisis,” said UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal.
The parties appear nowhere near consensus though. Two rounds of talks between the major political parties following CA dissolution have yielded no results.
NC leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said consensus still remains elusive as the Maoists “unabashedly” want to continue to cling on to power. “The ruling parties want contentious issues of the new statute to be resolved first before quitting the government. This is nothing but a ploy to prolong their stay in power,” he said.
Dr Mahat said there are fundamental differences among the political parties on issues of federalism and system of governance. “We have sharp differences on certain issues. The CA would not have seen its demise had it been easy to resolve the differences,” he further said.
UML Secretary Shankar Pokharel echoed Dr Mahat. “Consensus would have been possible. But the ruling parties merely want to prolong their stay in power,” he said. He said the UCPN (Maoist) condition to settle contentious issues in constitution writing before quitting the government is just a ploy to prolong its stay in power. “They know we will not accept their proposal on contentious issues of the new statute,” said Pokharel.