KATHMANDU: While Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai seem adamant on not leaving the helm for NC and were seeking other options, Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Baidhya has revealed that UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, ‘Prachanda’ himself is ready to see CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as a consensus PM.
Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal and caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai are positive on recommending the name of the CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa for a consensus PM, said Baidhya at Reporter's Club on Wednesday.
Baidhya’s claim came the day after PM Bhattarai had reached Baidhya’s residence, Baniyataar in Gongabu to discuss about the existing political issues including the formation of a national unity government.
President Yadav on Friday had formally called upon the parties to come up with a candidate to lead a national unity government within a week.
On Sunday, Dahal and Baidhya, while dwelling on the candidates for consensus prime minister’s post, they had decided to propose CPN-M General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as a candidate to lead a unity government.
Precisely, when Baidhya had proposed Thapa as the most appropriate candidate for consensus, Dahal told besides Thapa, candidates from NC, Madhesi leader Mahantha Thakur and one from civil society were also under discussion for the PM’s post.
“Thapa carries the agenda of both the parties, besides he will also garner the support of disadvantaged groups,” Dahal’s aide had quoted Baidhya as telling Dahal in a one-to-one meeting at his Lazimpat residence. On the same day CPN-M Vice-chairman CP Gajurel had also claimed that his party will propose Thapa’s name for PM.
Five-point agreement says, NC would get a chance be at helm only if the parties forged an agreement on the contentious issues of the constitution.
Thapa, the former defense minister Thapa would be the 36th Prime Minister of Nepal if all parties reached to an understanding to leave the PM’s chair for Thapa.
Deadline on threshold
While only a day is left to meet the deadline, two big opposition political parties have made up their mind to press the President urgently and ask for extending the deadline to forge an understanding on a consensus PM.
The meeting convened at UML headquarters in Balkhu in the Capital, leaders of the major opposition parties – Nepali Congress and CPN-UML-- decided to recall President Ram Baran Yadav to extend the deadline for forging consensus on a consensus-based prime ministerial candidate and unity government.
On Friday, President had made an earnest request to political stakeholders to name the new prime ministerial candidate and constitute a new Cabinet by November 29, which is tomorrow.
The President had made the call as per Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution at a time when country is devoid of Legislative –Parliament .
As the Constituent Assembly(CA) elected on May 28, 2008 had died its death on May 27, 2012 without promulgating a new constitution, the government was relegated on May 29, 2012 to the status of caretaker by President Yadav, to function till a new unity government is formed.
Constitutional provisions say that if parties fail to form a national unity government by tomorrow, then a majority-based government ought to be formed, but as there is no Parliament in place, it will be impossible to invoke Article 38 (2), which calls for choosing the prime minister through voting.
When Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had called on the Head of State on Tuesday, the latter had asked Dahal what should be done if the parties failed to give a consensus name for the prime minister as per Article 38 (1).