KATHMANDU, Jan 31: Opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress (NC), have urged President Ram Baran Yadav to take the initiative to form a new government saying that the president´s move has become imperative due to the failure of the major political parties to find a common prime ministerial candidate.
Emerging from the president´s office, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel said that the president had expected the major political parties to come up with a solution but months have gone by without any progress.
“It is desirable that the elected representatives or political parties resolve the political deadlock but since the parties have failed there is no option other than entrusting the president with finding a solution.”
Paudel said the president should come up with a solution in accordance with the international practices and democratic values. “When various forces fail to end crisis, at least some one should come forward to salvage the country. As the head of state, now the president should find a solution,” he added.
CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal said they would bring the ruling parties to their knees through the protests. “The ruling parties should have acted more responsibly but they are trying to deepen the crisis further,” said Khanal. “We have already taken to the streets. So now the protests will find a course.”
However, UCPN (Maoist) leader Amik Sherchan who had accompanied party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to the meeting, said NC and UML leaders were adamant on one-point demand for government leadership while neglecting other crucial issues.
He said his party has proposed a package solution to the ongoing political deadlock. “When we agree on ways to resolve crucial political issues and hold elections, among others, the issue of electing the new prime minister will automatically be settled,” said Sherchan. “But NC and UML leaders aren´t ready to think beyond leadership of the new government.”
Earlier, the president held a separate meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on ending the deadlock. Prime Minister Bhattarai said they discussed ways to create grounds for early elections. “We must hold elections by the end of May. Now the political parties need to hold serious talks on holding polls on time,” the prime minister told reporters while emerging from the president´s office.
The president has resumed consultations with the prime minister and top leaders of major political parties at a time when both the ruling and opposition alliances have taken to the streets.
An alliance led by the ruling UCPN (Maoist) gathered thousands of cadres in Kathmandu and top leaders including Dahal, Prime Minister Bhattarai and other key ruling leaders addressed the mass. They came down heavily on NC and UML leaders while accusing the opposition parties of obstructing consensus.
The nine-party alliance led by NC and UML has announced to gather tens of thousands of people in Kathmandu on February 8.