KATHMANDU, Nov 22: Arguing that fresh election was not possible without formation of an all-party government, civil society leaders on Thursday asked Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to step down from the post to pave the way for such a government.
Addressing a rally organized by Citizens Campaign for Nationality, Democracy and Social Justice in the capital, the civil society leaders also argued Bhattarai should vacate the PM´s office without any further delay on moral grounds as he has failed to hold the CA election on the stipulated date of November 22.
Addressing the function, Professor Birendra Man Pradhan said that the country would head toward yet another confrontation and uncertainty if the Bhattarai remained stubborn to stay in the government.
Participants in demonstration. (Photo: Keshab Thoker)
“Bhattarai must show magnanimity by stepping down for the formation of a national consensus government. Fresh election is not possible without a national consensus government in place,” he said.
Arguing that fresh election was the need of the hour, Professor Lal Babu Yadav alleged that parties are reluctant to face elections. “The term of the elected CA was originally for two years, but was extended till four years. What kind of democracy is this when the parties do not want to go to elections?” he asked.
The function, conducted by political analyst Muma Ram Khanal, raised important concerns regarding fresh CA as well as local level elections, formation of an all-party government to hold free and fair elections, controlling corruption and impunity, filling vacant positions in various constitutional bodies, agreement on the contentious issues of new statute before going to the election and maintaining social harmony for national unity and territorial integrity.
Those addressing the function argued that the announcement of new date for CA polls was yet another ploy of the government to prolong its stay in power, since it was declared without political consensus and without bringing necessary amendments to the related laws and the constitution.
They argued that Baburam Bhattarai was treading on the path of dictatorship trying to run the country unilaterally despite his caretaker status.
Former President of Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa alleged that the government was bent on dismantling all democratic institutions, including the Supreme Court and the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, that ensure check and balance of power. Calling the current government corrupt, Thapa argued that the president´s endorsement of the budget two days ago gave it the license to engage in more corruption.
Chairman of Nepal Bar Association, Chairman of Federation of Nepalese Journalists Shiva Gaunle, Prem Bahadur Khadka, President of Human Rights Organization of Nepal Charan Prasain, human rights activist Sushil Pyakurel and academician Kamal Krishna Shrestha, among others, asked Bhattarai not to nurture the ambition to tread on the path of dictatorship. They asked Bhattarai to step down to create conducive environment for fresh elections.
The citizens´ campaign raised over Rs 20,000 through voluntary donations for holding similar rally next time. The organizers have announced to hold another rally within the next 15 days if there was still no consensus among parties.