Chose either five-point deal or fresh election, Dahal tells opposition
KATHMANDU, Aug 8: The UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday asked opposition parties to either agree to forge consensus in line with the five-point deal or agree on fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections at the earliest to end the current political deadlock.
Dahal said Maoists were ready to support Nepali Congress (NC) led national consensus government if the parties agreed to move ahead in line with the spirit of the five-point deal reached on May 3.
“Let´s first settle the contentious issues of the new constitution and agree on way to promulgate new statute,” he said. “We are ready to form a NC led government to hold a fresh election as per the five-point deal.”
Leaders in the program. (Photo: Bhashwor Ojha)
Addressing an interaction program organized by Interparty Women Alliance in Lalitpur, Dahal argued that fresh CA election was the only option if there was no agreement among parties to move ahead in line with the deal.
“But the government to be formed for holding a fresh election won´t necessarily be led by the NC. Any party which can garner support of other parties can lead the new government in case there was no agreement as per the five-point deal,” said Dahal.
Dahal´s remarks comes amid NC demand that it should lead a new national consensus government.
Baidya and Dahal in the same program. (Photo: Bhashwor Ojha)
Dahal argued that they can go for election to the CA with a provision to transform it into parliament once the task of constitution drafting is accomplished. “We can neither resolve the deadlock by inciting the president to be active nor by asking the prime minister to stay put in his office,” he further said.
However, NC and CPN-UML strongly opposed Dahal´s proposal saying parties can start discussions on settling contentious issues of new statute and set a new date for fresh election only after the Baburam Bhattarai-led government is gone and new national consensus government is formed.
NC President Sushil Koirala said that prime minister should step down without further delays to pave way for the formation of national consensus government. “The prime minister has been saying that he has already resigned. But that is not enough. He should quit the post and pave way for the formation of national consensus government,” he said.
Koirala said NC has been adopting three-pronged strategies to resolve the current deadlock. He said they were fighting constitutional battle by asking president to safeguard the constitution in his capacity as custodian of the statute and launching "peaceful protests" to oust the prime minister. “We have also kept open the doors for talks to resolve the deadlock,” he said.
UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal said since the current government broke the trust among parties by unilaterally declaring the CA election it should step down on moral ground.
“There cannot be any talks with this government,” he said, arguing that a new national consensus government to be formed after ousting Bhattarai would take initiatives to forge consensus on all contentious issues of the new statute and also announce new election date.
Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Baidhya said that round table conference can help resolve the deadlock in the country. He opposed the idea of reinstating the CA.