Disruption delays govt formation

KATHMANDU: The CPN-UML-led democratic alliance failed to inch any closer to forming the new government today as UCPN-Maoist refused to budge from its earlier stance on the presidential move.

The process of government formation has been delayed due to continuous disruption of House proceedings by the Maoists. The Maoists are demanding rectification of the presidential move to reinstate the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal.

The UCPN-M wants to record its resolution on what it dubs as the “unconstitutional move” of the President in the parliament. On the other hand, non-Maoist parties argue that the matter is sub-judiced and hence can not be entertained in the House.

CPN-UML leaders Jhala Nath Khanal, Madav Kumar Nepal, including others had met caretaker Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” at his residence requesting him to clear the stalemate. However, the PM reiterated that the UML should either stand against the President's move or let the resolution be entertained in the House.

The UML held a second round of meeting with top Maoist leaders including Dr Baburam Bhattarai, Narayan Kaji Shrestha “Prakash” at UCPN-M's parliamentary party office at Singh Durbar. However, the Maoist leaders refused to budge from their stance.

“We have been flexible. At least, our resolution against the President's move should be entertained in the House. It wouldn't matter if other parties opposed it,” said Dr Bhattarai. Stating that it was a political issue, he said that the constitution couldn't be misinterpreted in this regard.

Stating that the UCPN-Maoist wouldn't join the new government, Dr Bhattarai said that he did not want the new government to uphold military supremacy.

On the other hand, NC vice president Ram Chandra Paudel argued that parliamentary motion on a matter which was sub-judiced in the court of law would set a wrong precedent. Formation of the new government should get the first priority, he added.

UML leader Surendra Pandey opined that the Maoists could record its view on the Presidential move by addressing the House.

The UML leaders also met at the UML parliamentary party office and urged Speaker Subas Nembang to clear the impasse. Earlier, UML leader and proposed Prime Minister in the running Madav Kumar Nepal had met NC President Girija Prasad Koirala at the latter's residence in Maharajgunj to discuss the issue.