KATHMANDU, Feb 14: Showing drastic flexibility over its position on nominating leadership of the new government, the major opposition party Nepali Congress (NC)´s central working committee meeting on Wednesday decided to keep all options open in this regard.
The party decided to agree on formation of an election government even under the leadership of sitting chief justice if formation of such a coalition creates grounds for holding fresh election to the Constituent Assembly by May and doesn´t undermine the basic democratic principle of the separation of powers.
“Today´s [Wednesday] meeting unanimously decided to agree on formation of a government even under the leadership of sitting chief justice if such a move wouldn´t undermine the basic democratic principle of the separation of powers, constitutional supremacy and judicial independence,” NC Spokesperson Dilendra Prasad Badu told Republica. “But there must be an arrangement so that such a move will not undermine separation of powers.”
Another leader explained that such an arrangement is to make the sitting chief justice tender his resignation from the post prior to assuming the post of prime minister.
The meeting entrusted the party´s three top leaders -- party president Sushil Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel -- with the responsibility of holding talks with other political parties on behalf of the party on formation of a national consensus government.
Stating that over 95 percent of those who aired their views during the deliberations were strongly against forming a government under the leadership of the sitting chief justice, NC leader Shekhar Koirala said that the party can´t accept the sitting chief justice as the prime minister. He said NC is still for Koirala´s candidacy but decided to keep other options open as well.
Formation of a new government under the leadership of a political leader or a neutral candidate, who is not currently affiliated to any political organization are among the other options.
Previously NC had proposed president Koirala as the prime ministerial candidate from the party. The opposition alliance of nine political parties including the CPN-UML had supported Koirala´s candidacy.
An overwhelming majority of members at the CPN-UML´s central committee meeting urged the party leadership to reject the idea of forming a government led by the sitting chief justice and pressed the top brass to lobby for a leadership by a political party.
Ruling UCPN (Maoist) last week had floated the proposal to form an election government under the leadership of sitting chief justice.