Prime minister calls all-party meeting


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today called an all-party meeting to 'discuss contemporary political issues', a day after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Standing Committee floated the idea of an all-party meeting to discuss protests in major cities by royalists. Oli was not present in yesterday's Standing Committee meeting of his party.

The Prime Minister's Press Adviser, Surya Thapa, said the PM had called a meeting of all the parties represented in the Parliament to discuss contemporary political issues at 11:00am tomorrow. Asked if the PM had called the meeting to discuss threats posed by royalists and COVID-19 pandemic, the PM's Political Adviser, Bishnu Rimal, said contemporary political and social issues would be discussed in tomorrow's meeting.

A source close to the PM said the PM wanted to hear the views of political parties on all contemporary issues, including the threat posed by royalists, COVID-19 crisis and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to NCP Standing Committee member Ganesh Shah, NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal had backed the idea of calling an all-party meeting to discuss current issues, particularly the threat posed by royalist forces, at yesterday's Standing Committee meeting. Dahal had said that parties should issue a joint appeal in support of republican order and other political changes effected after the 2006 people's movement.

Standing Committee member Janardan Sharma had brought up the issue in the meeting, saying a resolution condemning threats posed by royalist forces be passed by the meeting, expressing commitment to the republican order and other political changes brought by the movement. However, NCP leaders said it would be better to issue a joint appeal after an-all party meeting.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Radhe Shyam Adhikari, who is also a senior advocate, told THT that no one should worry about protests launched by royalists as long as they were peaceful. "I don't think that all the people that have hit the streets are royalists. I think a lot of people are frustrated and angry with the government for its failure to deliver services and control corruption.

What we are seeing on the streets is an expression of people's frustration against the government," he added.

Royalist forces have been taking out rallies across Nepal calling for the restoration of monarchy.