KATHMANDU, Feb 2: As the deadline given earlier by President Ram Baran Yadav to form a national consensus government expired Sunday, Nepali Congress (NC) has urged the president to invite political parties to form majority-based government.
Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala informed President Yadav on the phone that his party´s attempt to form a consensus government failed after the UCPN (Maoist) and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) during Sunday´s all-party meeting chose to remain in the opposition.
"We informed President Dr Yadav that our efforts to form consensus government could not yield result. We have said that it is not good to extend the deadline again for consensus government," NC spokesperson Dilendra Badu told Republica.
NC´s move came after its last-ditch efforts to form consensus government as per the Article 38 (1) on Sunday afternoon ended inconclusively. NC President Sushil Koirala had asked the parties to extend their support to form consensus government so that both the peace process and constitution-drafting could be accomplished within the stipulated time.
Addressing the meeting, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had said that the mandate given by the people during the election does not allow his party to join the government. "Our party won´t join the government. We will neither file candidacy for prime minister nor will we participate in voting for picking prime minister," Dahal said. RPP-N that attended the meeting had echoed UCPN (Maoist) when NC requested for support.
President Yadav´s press advisor Rajendra Dahal said the Office of the President on Monday will call upon the parties to form a majority-based government as per the request of the parties. "The president will inform this to the Parliament Secretariat on Monday," Dahal said.
With the third largest party, the UCPN (Maoist), and the fourth largest party, RPP-N, deciding to remain in the opposition, NC and the second largest party CPN-UML along with other fringe parties are now set to form a majority-based government. "It was already clear that a consensus government could not be formed. The UML will join the government but will seek a dignified position," UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal told media persons after the meeting.
Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said they prefer forming a new government backed by the UML. "We have started meaningful talks with the UML from today itself," NC spokesperson Badu said. The two parties have yet to start power-sharing negotiations and the issue of new president.