KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today said consensus among political parties was possible after Dashain and before Tihar.
Talking to mediapersons at a tea party hosted by Reporters Club, the Prime Minister said political leaders had informally agreed to hold fresh elections by mid-May next year, and that could soon be formalised.
He said parties needed to pursue serious dialogue on holding elections for the new Constituent Assembly or parliament. “We can promulgate a new constitution by incorporating agreed agendas and leaving unsettled issues to the new parliament. If that does not happen we can hold fresh CA elections, but for that we have to fix its modalities and process,” the PM said.
He clarified that a national consensus government would be formed to hold fresh elections. “Everybody can claim leadership of that government but that should be decided through consensus,” the PM added. He said a new understanding should be agreeable to all.
Asked what action he was mulling against Minister of Labour and Employment Kumar Belbase who has been accused of demanding bribe from manpower companies, Bhattarai said any person accused of corruption had the duty of tendering his/her resignation and prove innocence, and he had conveyed the same message to Belbase. “I have notified CPN-ML chief CP Mainali to recall Belbase, if he does not do so, I will take action against Belbase,” the PM said.
CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, without naming the Unified CPN-Maoist, said the party that emerged as the largest party in the 2008 CA election did not give a new constitution and was now trying to prolong its rule. “But we are trying to help forge consensus without negating the ruling parties. If this situation persists, we will raise a storm of protest,” Khanal warned.
Nepali Congress leader and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said the CA must be revived even for a day to promulgate the constitution, but before that happened, all unsettled issues needed to be sorted out. Asked how he viewed the UCPN-M proposal for fresh presidential election, Deuba said there was no provision for it in the Interim Constitution.