KATHMANDU, Jan 15: Without issuing a new deadline this time around, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Tuesday renewed pressure on the political parties to forge consensus at the earliest.
In a meeting with the top leaders of various 18 parties represented in the erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA) at the President´s Office in Shital Niwas on Tuesday, Yadav asked the parties not to further delay consensus.
“Forge consensus within the next seven days. I won´t give any more deadlines,” CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal quoted the president as telling to the leaders.
Khanal said the president asked the parties to forge consensus on holding fresh election and that he would not support any other alternative.
The president´s press advisor Rajendra Dahal said the president decided not to issue any more deadline as parties assured him that they would forge consensus on their own. " The president had served deadline on the demand of the parties. The president has chosen not to give a deadline as the parties did not demand it." He said the parties have reiterated that they would reach consensus any time soon.
Yadav met top leaders of 18 parties after his ninth deadline expired on Monday without the parties making any progress on forging consensus. While the ruling parties have attributed failure to reach consensus on the opposition parties´ adamancy, opposition parties passed the buck on Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.
The opposition parties had also apprised the president that they were planning to go for protests as there was no possibility of consensus with the UCPN (Maoist).
The opposition leaders told the president that they have reached consensus on all issues except for the resignation of Prime Minister Bhattarai. However, leaders of both the ruling and the opposition parties reiterated that they would forge consensus soon.
In the meeting, CPN-ML Chairman CP Mainali had proposed forming a government under the leadership of a party with a new vision. According to Mainali, Yadav has given the parties seven days to forge consensus without issuing a deadline.
“The president has told us that he will need to furnish clarification to the people if the parties failed to reach an agreement even by next week,” said Mainali. The president also reiterated that the process of forming consensus government under Article 38 (1) would continue.
Let´s not trouble prez: PM
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who left the meeting halfway to purportedly attend a function, had proposed going for fresh election under the leadership of a small party or United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) or an independent person as there was no agreement on the name proposed by the big parties.
According to the prime minister´s personal secretariat, Bhattarai´s proposed holding election in the last week of May, fixing the date for election and filling vacant positions in the constitutional bodies in consensus with political parties.
“It is not good to trouble the president time and again. Political parties should forge consensus to hold election by the last week of May,” Bhattarai´s personal aide Biswadeep Pandey quoted him as saying in the meeting.