KATHMANDU, Nov 9: Leaders from the opposition parties on Thursday requested the president in writing to block the government´s plan to bring annual budget through ordinance without consent of opposition parties and to direct the ruling coalition to bring budget only through national consensus.
A group of leaders including Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and Rastriya Janashakti Party Chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa, among other leaders reached the president´s office at Shital Niwas on Thursday evening to submit the memorandum to the head of state.
A joint meeting of 19 opposition parties held at NC´s head office on Thursday decided to request President Ram Baran Yadav to block the budget ordinance and the leaders subsequently submitted the letter to the president.
NC President and UML Chairman after submitting memorandum to the president. (Photo: Bhashwor Ojha)
However, Mohan Baidya´s CPN-Maoist did not join the opposition parties in presenting the memorandum, saying that the party does not support the idea of seeking the president´s help in stopping the budget and that instead the present government should be toppled through street protests.
"We as per the decision of the 19-party meeting held earlier today [Thursday], submitted the memorandum to the president requesting him to stop the government from bringing budget ordinance without national consensus," CPN-UML Chairman Khanal told reporters after meeting the president.
Koirala said they were hopeful that the president wouldn´t approve budget ordinance as the head of state had been consistently pressing the leaders to forge political consensus.
Khanal argued that in the absence of parliament, the government should bring new budget through ordinance but the government must forge national consensus for the purpose. "Bringing new budget through ordinance without consensus in the absence of parliament is a serious violation of the interim constitution," Khanal explained.
Meeting of 19 parties at NC party office, Sanepa.
"As the president is the protector and guardian of the constitution, we requested him to stop the government from brining budget ordinance in contravention with the constitutional provision."
According to him, the president assured the opposition leaders that he would take all the initiatives that he can take for forging national consensus as per the powers that he can exercise in accordance with the constitution.
"We request the president, in the capacity of protector and guardian of the constitution, to stop the government from forcefully imposing new budget against the constitution, laws, political agreements and democratic principles and to direct the government to bring the budget in consensus," read the memorandum submitted to the president.
The opposition parties argued that the caretaker government, UCPN (Maoist) and other ruling parties were trying to unilaterally impose the budget ordinance and misuse the state powers instead of trying to forge political and constitutional consensus while taking policy decisions having long-term implications for the country.
In the three-page memorandum, the opposition parties have given a glimpse of political negotiations and agreements reached during the last week of May when the CA was dissolved and in the last five months following CA dissolution.
They claimed that the ruling parties were unilaterally violating political understandings one after another in a bid to prolong their stay in power even as the opposition parties were trying their best to form consensus government and end the political deadlock in an agreement.
The opposition leaders have alleged that the ruling coalition has been spreading rumors that "the president was attempting to stage a coup" in its attempts to create undue pressure on the president to approve a budget ordinance.
NC´s Koirala, CPN-UML´s Khanal, RJP´s Thapa, Rastriya Prajatantra Party´s Pashupati Shamsher Rana, CPN-ML´s CP Mainali, CPN (Samyukta)´s Chandra Dev Joshi, Manoj Bhatta of Rastriya Janamorcha, Devendra Mishra of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (A), Bhumiraj Niraula of Churebhawar Rastriya Ekta Party and Hikmat Bahadur Deuba of Samajbadi Janta Party signed on the memorandum submitted to the president.
Earlier in the morning, leaders from the ruling UCPN (Maoist) and main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) held talks on ending the political deadlock but the negotiations yielded no result. NC President Sushil Koirala accompanied by other NC leaders reached UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s residence for talks.
But the talks yield no positive result as leaders from the two parties didn´t budge from their respective stance.
"They [Maoist leaders] lobbied for transforming the present government into a consensus coalition but we are for forming a national consensus government under our party´s [NC] leadership," Paudel told reporters after the meeting held at Dahal´s residence in Lazimpat.