Caveat their statement with a reminder that there should be an agreement on federalism first
KATHMANDU: A meeting of the Unified CPN-Maoist and United Democratic Madhesi Front today concluded that a consensus government could be formed under Nepali Congress‘ leadership as per the May 3 five-point deal but only after major parties reached an understanding on all constitutional issues, particularly on restructuring of the state and federalism.
Parties’ failure to settle issues related to the state restructuring and federalism had led to the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on May 27.
“What we agreed today is that a consensus government can be formed under NC’s leadership as per the May 3 agreement after major parties reach an understanding on issues related to state restructuring and federalism,” said Minister for Health and Population Rajendra Mahato, who is also the chairman of Sadbhavana Party.
Minister Mahato said fresh elections for a new Constituent Assembly could be held after a national consensus government was formed under NC’s leadership. The government has set November 22 for fresh CA polls, but opposition parties, and even the Election Commission, believe that polls on the declared date are not possible.
“In order to hold fresh CA elections, we need to make amendments to the Interim Constitution, as well as laws related to elections,” said Mahato, adding: “For this, the major parties are required to build consensus first.”
He added that the leaders at today’s meeting mainly discussed ways to reach consensus on constitutional issues, formation of a unity government, fiscal budget and fresh CA elections.
He said four major political forces — UCPN-M, NC, CPN-UML and UDMF — would hold dialogue soon to resolve political. The major political forces would also hold talks with other fringe parties on bringing the fiscal budget through an ordinance in line with the Supreme Court order issued yesterday.
Asked whether they were mulling over bringing a full-fledged budget, Mahato claimed that the apex court did not categorically bar the government from doing so. “We will bring a complete budget after consulting the parties in the dissolved CA,” he said.
Mahato also informed that the UCPN-M and UDMF also agreed, in principle, to form a Federal Democratic Alliance under the leadership of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in order to consolidate the agenda of ‘federal democratic constitution’. “We will soon form FDA that will comprise all the political parties, organisations and stakeholders that are in favour of federalism,” said Mahato.
Minister for Information and Communications Raj Kishor Yadav, who is also the acting chairman of Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Republic, said Maoist Chairman Dahal had been entrusted with the task of building consensus on bringing a complete budget for the fiscal year 2012/13. As per the practice, the fiscal budget must be presented by July 15.
NC and UML are objecting to the government’s plan to bring a full-fledged budget through an ordinance, saying it could be a populist budget in which a number of programmes could be designed targeting the CA elections.THT