Nepal PM Koirala makes valedictory speech at Parliament
KESHAV P. KOIRALA
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Friday announced that he would ask President Ram Baran Yadav to initiate the procedure to elect a new Prime Minister from the Parliament as per the provisions in the newly promulgated Constitution.
Making a valedictory speech at the House as the elected head of the government, Koirala urged the agitating parties to come to the table for dialogue while announcing that he was going to meet the President to ask for the initiation of the constitutional process for the change of the guard.
He, however, did not explicitly say that he was resigning.
"I had taken up the prime ministerial post with the responsibility to help the task of promulgation of Constitution from the Constituent Assembly in all ways," said Koirala, who was elected as the country's executive head from the Parliament in February 2014, "Also, I had made public commitment to give up the positional responsibilities after the promulgation of Constitution."
"After this meeting of Legislature-Parliament, on a par with the provisions in the Constitution and my public commitment, I am going to request His Excellency the President to initiate the constitutional process to elect new prime minister," he said while wrapping up his speech.
According to the provisions in Nepal's Constitution, new Prime Minister should be elected within seven days of beginning of the first session of the House after the commencement of the new charter. The constitutional provisions for the transitional arrangements following the promulgation of Constitution has kept mum over the resignation.
The new House session kicked off today.
After the Prime Minister's speech, the House unanimously endorsed the Interim Rules for Legislature-Parliament.
Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang has called the next meeting of House at 1 pm on Sunday.
In his speech, Koirala summarised the tasks that the coalition government led by him carried out, the process of constitution drafting and the government's response to the devastating earthquake in April.
Hailing the Constitution as exemplary and historic in terms of the content and the process of adoption, Koirala said the ongoing agitation in Tarai-Madhesh region and the border blockade, however, have created an uneasy situation and affected all quarters of life.
“The country has come to an uneasy and difficult turn due to the ongoing agitation in Tarai-Madhesh. The border entry points are obstructed and closed to affect all imports and exports. Nepali people are facing shortage of commodities in their (daily) life. Schools, colleges and students’ future too have been affected. Industries and business have also gone haywire. Life of farmers and labourers has been more difficult. Medicines and hospital services are being affected every day. Publication and broadcasting from media houses have been directly affected.”
He further said the government and the major three parties have committed to addressing the concerns raised by Madhesi parties and others, and urged the agitating sides to come to the table for dialogue.
According to him, the government has already told the line ministry to prepare and present a bill for the amendment of Constitution.
"Friends from some political parties are out of the process now, though they were involved in different phases of constitution-making process. I would like to appeal to them to resolve the dispute through dialogue. In order to strengthen this Constitution, we can work together to identify the issues and make them its."
"We all have internalised the essence of guaranteeing the right of participation and representation in the state mechanism, based on the principles of proportional inclusivity, in the (new) Constitution as per the spirit of Interim Constitution."
"Likewise, we all political parties by and large identified that the electoral constituencies should be fixed based on population (density) by ensuring geographic representation from the remote hilly and mountainous districts also."
Recalling that he had earlier ensured the Constituent Assembly that these issues could be resolved through amendment of the Constitution, Koirala said the three major parties had signed and made the commitment public.
"The Council of Ministers has directed and given permission to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to prepare and present a bill on the amendment of Constitution at House to address this common issue raised in all agitations including that of Aadivasi, Janajati, Tharu, Muslim, Dalit (communities)."
Referring to the ongoing protests in the Tarai districts and the obstruction in supplies from the Indian side to Nepal, he pointed out the need for caution towards not affecting the social harmony and the country's international relations by the agitation.
"I also would like to hea,rtily appeal to the Government of India not to allow delay happen in the border area and let Nepal entertain its transit rights and facilities (through India)," he said.
Mentioning that representatives of the government and three major parties are holding talks with the agitating leaders of Tarai-Madhesh and Tharu communities, and the government has made decisions to create conducive environment for the dialogue, Koirala said, "The government and three parties have taken initiative to address the political issues raised in the (ongoing)agitation."
He opined that both the government and the agitating sides have to play an important role in making the positive situation built through talks fruitful.
"I appeal to the agitating side to withdraw the current agitation that has seriously affected the supplies, people's life and livelihood and the entire economy."
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is addressing the Parliament meeting.
During the address, the Prime Minister appreciated the newly promulgated Constitution, claiming the historical document has fulfilled people's decades-long dream to have a Constitution written by their representative.
The charter has provided fundamental rights including their participation and representation in all bodies of the state to all including women, Madhesis, Janajatis and Muslims, he said.
The Constitution writing process of Nepal was exemplary in the world for its inclusive structure, the Prime Minister claimed.
Meanwhile, probably in his last speech as the Prime Minister in the Parliament, Koirala also discussed achievements and major tasks of the government.
Koirala reiterated his call to protesting parties to stop their protests and come to the negotiation table to get their issues addressed.