Khanal asks PM to quit immediately to pave way for Koirala
KATHMANDU, Jan 8: CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal has reiterated that his party is firm on the candidacy of Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala for the formation of national consensus government.
Khanal reiterated the party´s stance, responding to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai´s request to agree on independent candidate with political background for consensus government to hold fresh polls.
Prime Minister Bhattarai had reached Khanal´s residence in Dallu to hold discussion on resolving current political deadlock Monday evening.
During the meeting, Khanal asked Prime Minister Bhattarai to immediately step down to pave way for the formation of consensus government under NC President Sushil Koirala so that they will be able to hold fresh polls by mid-May.
"We discussed various options to resolve the current deadlock. I suggested the prime minister that it would be appropriate to form government under the leadership of a big party," Khanal told media persons after the meeting with the prime minister.
The UML chairman also said he asked Prime Minister Bhattarai not to debate over the candidacy of prime minister as opposition parties have unanimously floated the name of NC President Sushil Koirala.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Bhattarai had asked Khanal to be open on the option over the candidacy of independent candidate considering his ´problems´. The prime minister had argued that the formation of consensus government under independent candidate will be appropriate to resolve the deadlock as parties are nowhere near agreement to accept Koirala as the new prime minister.
´No more deadline extension in status-quo´
As the political parties have been failing to pick a prime ministerial candidate through consensus within deadline given by the president, constitutional and legal experts have suggested the head of the state not to extend deadline time and again.
At a meeting with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Monday evening at his office at Sital Niwas, constitutional and legal experts said it was useless to extend the deadline in the status quo.
"Extending deadline to form a consensus government as per Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution time and again will raise question over credibility of the president and the office of the president," Constitutional Expert Bhimarjun Acharya, who met the president, told Republica.
He maintained that the president can call on the parties to form consensus government once they forge understanding on the issue.
Constitutional Lawyer Bipin Adhikari, who was also present at the meeting, said that the caretaker government should come up with a proposal to end the present political and constitutional crisis.
"The government should make it position clear through a proposal about how it will cooperate with other parties to resolve the current crisis," Adhikari added.
When asked about President Yadav´s response on their recommendations, Acharya said the president told them he would hold discussion with political parties regarding the issue.
Adhikari said the president had invited them to enquire about constitutional and legal way out to resolve the present crisis in the capacity of the protector of the Interim Constitution.
The president has extended deadline to form a consensus government eight times so far.