KATHMANDU, Nov 8: A taskforce of opposition political parties on Wednesday worked on the draft outlines of a letter to be submitted to President Ram Baran Yadav requesting him not to approve an ordinance that the government is planning to forward to the head of state for bringing a new annual budget by mid-November.
A meeting of taskforce members also outlined the anti-government protests to be launched after the Tihar festival.
A joint meeting of top leaders from the two major opposition parties Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML on Tuesday had entrusted a six-member taskforce with the responsibility of preparing a draft of a letter to be submitted to the president asking him not to approve a budget ordinance if it is brought by the government without the consent of opposition parties. The team was also tasked with outlining the protest programs aimed at unseating the present government.
NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula heads the taskforce and its members include Minendra Rijal of NC, Bhim Rawal and Raghuji Pant of CPN-UML, CPN-ML General Secretary CP Mainali and Deepak Bohara of Rastriya Prajatantra Party.
"We at today´s [Wednesday´s] meeting outlined the major components to be included in both drafts. We will rework them tomorrow before presenting the drafts at a meeting of top leaders for their endorsement later the same day," UML Politburo Member Pant told Republica.
He, however, declined to divulge details of the drafts, saying the contents were yet to be finalized from the taskforce level as well as by the top leadership.
A party leader involved in the drafting said that in the letter to the president the opposition parties will elaborate why the president shouldn´t approve any budget ordinance forwarded by the government without a broader political consensus.
"We will furnish ample constitutional, political and financial grounds why the president shouldn´t endorse such an ordinance," said a taskforce member.
The team also plans to describe the prime minister´s unilateral decision to announce elections and not extend the CA term on May 27 as the UCPN (Maoist) plan to prolong its stay in power instead of framing a new constitution through the CA.
"We will furnish other arguments to show how the present government and the ruling Maoist party are moving unilaterally against democratic norms," Mainali said. The opposition parties plan to submit the letter on Thursday if top leaders finalize it earlier in the day.
Also, the taskforce outlined some protest programs to be launched after Tihar.
In the first stage of the protests, the opposition parties are to stage mass gatherings and rallies and mobilize their cadres against government decisions.
"In the first stage, we will bring some joint programs to mobilize party cadres and seek to garner support from civil society members, professionals and the general public," Mainali told Republica. "We will avoid general strikes in the initial stage."
NC to demonstrate in capital on Friday
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu district chapter of the main opposition NC plans to hold a mass demonstration in Kathmandu on Friday, to coincide with the 97th birth anniversary of NC supreme leader the late Ganesh Man Singh.
A statement issued by the district chapter said the party´s top three leaders -- NC President Sushil Koirala, former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel -- will address the gathering. The party claimed that a rally with thousands of participants will begin from Ratna Park and later converge in a gathering at Basantapur, Hanumandhoka.