KATHMANDU, MAY 30 – Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday said that parties had no alternative to transforming the incumbent government into a national consensus one, calling them to jointly move ahead to successfully accomplish the CA elections slated for November 22.
He also said there will not be constitutional and legal complexities as reported in the media if parties went ahead with understanding. Speaking to the Post at his official residence, the PM said political leaders should apologise publicly for their failure to promulgate a new constitution through the CA on May 27. He suggested that any difficulty arising while implementing the Interim Constitution of 2007 could be resolved using Article 158 of the same constitution.
Article 158 states that if any difficulty arises in connection with the implementation of this constitution, the President on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers may issue an order to resolve such problems and such orders require endorsement by the legislature-parliament within a month. “Only the cordial relationship between the President and the Prime Minister will pave way for removing the possible constitutional difficulties and make constitutioanl amendments,” the PM said.
On Tuesday, President Ram Baran Yadav met Bhattarai to discuss the political stalemate. “Nothing otherwise will happen out of me,” the PM quoted Yadav as telling him. Yadav’s remarks come amid speculations that there will be a confrontation between the PM and the President.
Though there are many confusions and divergence of views on the constitutional difficulties to move ahead, the PM seemed relaxed that the parties will overcome the obstacles through national consensus. “We will soon begin consultations with other parties to seek national consensus which is a must to hold the general elections on time,” he said.
Bhattarai stated that the dissolution of the CA was a huge loss and that it has damaged the image of political parties, but he defended his action, saying that if the government had not declared an election, there remained a possibility of bloodshed.
At a time when the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have termed the government’s decision unconstitutional, he claimed that the government announced a new CA election as per the Supreme Court verdict–to go for a fresh mandate. “The verdict of the Supreme Court is above the constitution, and as such, the government’s move is constitutional and legal,” he argued.
The CA was dissolved after parties failed to forge consensus on disputed issues of a new constitution. Bhattarai said the parties had agreed to federate the country into 11 provinces on the basis of multiple identities and mixed names. “However, there remained a tendency in the NC and the UML, which was in favour of disrupting the agreement among parties,” he said.KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI from ekantipur