KATHMANDU, Oct 1: Urging the political parties to end the current political stalemate without further delay, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has asked the parties to set a deadline for forging consensus on the future political course of the country.
During his meeting with the top leaders of various 21 political parties represented in the erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA) on Sunday afternoon, President Yadav also asked the parties to suggest him as to how can he might help resolve the deadlock if they fail to do so on their own. In response, the parties assured the president that they would soon forge consensus on all issues, including the fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) election, by mid-October.
According to the president´s press advisor Rajendra Dahal, the president expressed his readiness to help the parties resolve the deadlock. “But you should take political responsibility of any such move by the president´s office,” Dahal quoted the president as telling the parties.
Thanking the government and the political parties for successfully concluding the rehabilitation and integration of former Maoist combatants, the president expressed disappointment over the failure of the political parties to agree on a future political course even four months after CA dissolution. “Our country cannot afford any further delay. Tell me what you plan to do next so that I can tell this to the people,” Dahal quoted the president as saying.
Addressing the party leaders at the outset of the meeting, Yadav said, “Even the president´s office has been dragged into controversy for the parties´ failure to forge consensus. I urge you all to end the deadlock at the earliest.”
The president also stressed on the need for forming a national consensus government for holding fresh CA election. “Since you have committed to the people that you will give a new constitution through the CA, a fresh election must be held. But there should first be a consensus government in place,” Dahal quoted the president as saying.
Besides Vice President Paramananda Jha and Prime Minister Bhattarai, the president had also invited top leaders of various political parties including UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya and Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar at the meeting.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel said that they have assured the president that they would forge consensus on all issues, including formation of a national consensus government and amendments to the interim constitution for holding CA polls.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said since the parties have already agreed to go for fresh CA election they will start holding fresh discussions from Monday on election related issues. “A meeting of the four major parties scheduled for 3 pm tomorrow [Monday] will set the agenda for an all-party meeting to be held on Tuesday,” he said.
CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya talking to media persons said the opposition parties want the current Bhattarai to step down first to create grounds for consensus. “We have been maintaining that there should be a round table conference of all political parties to resolve the deadlock,” he said.