Leaders to formally request him to head interim government today KATHMANDU, Feb 20: Top leaders of the four major political forces have decided to hold a joint meeting with Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi on Wednesday after the latter declined to head an election government under the ´various conditions´ put forth by the parties.
A meeting of the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) held at Special Committee Secretariat in New Baneshwar Tuesday evening decided to hold the meeting to allay his concerns after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai briefed the four-party meeting about the reservations harbored by the chief justice.
Prime Minister Bhattarai had met the chief justice earlier in the morning to learn his position on Monday´s draft proposal of the four political forces to form a CJ-led Interim Election Council of Ministers for holding CA election.
According to a leader present at the meeting, Chief Justice Regmi expressed his ´unwillingness´ to head the proposed election government if there was no consensus among political parties. Regmi had conveyed his concern to the prime minister over the differing opinions of senior leaders of major parties regarding a CJ-led government and the strikes and protests being staged by various political parties against such a government.
PHOTO: BHASWOR OJHA
CJ Regmi, likewise, expressed reservations over a clause in the nine-point draft proposal prepared by the four major forces that says a High-Level Political Consultation Committee will recommend to the president a name for the new prime minister of the Interim Election Government within 15 days in case of failure to hold the polls on the stipulated date of June 5. The chief justice reportedly said the provision is ´humiliating´ for a person of his stature.
Sources said Regmi had even questioned the commitment of the political parties to hold the election on the stipulated date and their commitment to extend all necessary help to make the election successful. "I don´t see an environment to hold the election on the stipulated date. Parties appear divided and leaders of the same parties are making conflicting statements in public," the prime minister said at the four-party meeting quoting the chief justice.
At a meeting with journalists at the Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon, Chief Justice Regmi declined to divulge details about his reservations about the parties´ proposal. "I will speak my mind at an opportune time," he told journalists when asked if he had rejected the parties´ proposal to head the new government.
Talking to media persons after the four-party meeting, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel said Chief Justice Regmi wanted to be clear on "some issues". "We are ready to address the concerns of the chief justice. The only solution to the current impasse is fresh election," he said, adding, "We on behalf of the parties will apprise him Wednesday that the parties are ready to extend all support to him to hold the election."
Leaders said CJ Regmi during his meeting with the prime minister had also doubted the parties´ commitment to extend him all support. "Are all parties really committed to holding election by mid-June?" the CJ had reportedly questioned.
UDMF Coordinator Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar said the parties have unanimously decided to form a CJ-led Interim Election Council of Ministers. "We should go to election after settling some technical issues. I am confident that the chief justice will accept our request to bail the country out of the current deadlock," he said.