ANANTA RAJ LUITEL
KATHMANDU: Almost three weeks after his last meeting with top leaders, President Ram Baran Yadav today once again told them to show willingness to forge consensus to break the current political and constitutional deadlock at the earliest.
President Yadav, during a meeting with top leaders of two dozen political forces, including Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic and CPN-Maoist, read out a seven-point statement, reiterating that he was ready to play a completely supportive role, provided that the parties came up with a concrete solution to break the stalemate by remaining within the constitutional limitations.
Stating that the country was facing serious constitutional, legal, political and financial crises, the President reminded the political parties of their earlier commitment to resolve all the crises by mid-October and said he was forced to prod them once again into acting seriously so that the problems don’t’ get further complicated.
“To break the political and constitutional stalemate that has appeared following the demise of the Constituent Assembly, the political parties must forge consensus as per the spirit of the Interim Constitution. Therefore I have been repeatedly calling all the parties together and urging them to work together for consensus,” said the President.
In relation to ordinances, the President said, “The day-to-day administrative problems can be resolved through ordinances as per the spirit of the Interim Constitutional but the practice of ruling through ordinances may weaken the democratic process. Therefore I urge you to make prudence use of ordinances.”
“What the President said today is aimed at reminding the political parties that any solution they find to bail the country out of prevailing crises should be within the constitutional limitations,” Rajendra Dahal, Press Advisor to the President told The Himalayan Times.
The President also made it clear to the leaders that he was not in any kind of confusion that the political leaders were not worried about the current challenges and said he was reminding them of their commitment because it was his moral duty to do so.
Five months have gone since the Constituent Assembly was dissolved, but there has been no headway as political parties have invariably failed to arrive at consensus.
PM Baburam Bhattarai, UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala, UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya along with other leaders of two dozen parties were present at today’s meeting. Vice-President Paramananda Jha was also present.
Leaders say they went to Shital Niwas ‘to listen’
After meeting President Ram Baran Yadav, leaders of political parties said they were in Shital Niwas ‘to listen’ to the Head of State and that there was no ‘two-way discussion’ as such. However, they blamed each other for the stalemate. It was the second time in three weeks that President Yadav huddled the top leaders together and gave them an earful, albeit took great pains to remind them of their commitment. What the leaders had to say after the meeting:
• Sushil Koirala, President, NC: The President seriously urged the parties to define his role in the event of parties’ failure to forge consensus. The President asked parties what happened to their earlier commitment to forge consensus by mid-October. But Unified CPN-M’s ever-changing stance has been a major stumbling block to consensus. The Maoists are neither serious nor sensitive and have failed to take other parties into confidence. The Maoists must create an environment of trust for building consensus. UCPN-M Chairman’s proposal to hold election for President is nonsense
• Mohan Baidhya, Chairman, CPN-M: The President expressed serious concern about the protracted deadlock and urged the parties to step on the gas. But the wrongdoers should first analyse their mistakes and vow not to repeat them. Secondly, the problem will never be resolved until the parties start thinking beyond government formation — one section wants to cling on to power, another does not want to talk unless there is dialogue for government formation. Both sections are extremists
• Pushpa Kamal Dahal,
Chairman, UCPN-Maoist: There was nothing new. We had no discussions as such. The President only inspired us to forge consensus at the earliest. The parties will, however, continue discussions and hopefully there will be consensus before Tihar
• Jhala Nath Khanal, Chairman, CPN-UML: The President talked about three things: national consensus, prudence use of ordinances and crises facing the country. He reminded (the government) that in the absence of Parliament, political consensus is a must to run the government. We were there only to listen.