Prime minister stops short of resigning

Kathmandu, October 2

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala addressed the second meeting of the transformed Parliament and said he would appeal to President Ram Baran Yadav to initiate the process of the formation of a new government.

The PM said he was committed to his promise of quitting the premiership after the promulgation of the new constitution, but did not categorically say that he would tender his resignation from his post. CPN-UML, the second largest party of the ruling coalition, has been saying that the prime minister should resign from his post to pave the way for the formation of a new government.

The PM said the government directed the Ministry of Law and Justice to table a constitution amendment bill in the Parliament to guarantee proportional inclusion in the social justice clause of the new constitution and to ensure population as the main basis for the delineation of the election constituencies.

The PM said the delivery of the new constitution by the Constituent Assembly was a peaceful outlet to the decade-long Maoist insurgency.

He said the constitution had established inclusive democracy which would give access to people from mountains, hills and Madhes to governance. The PM hoped that the promulgation of federal, democratic and republican constitution would help the country further cement its ties with other friendly nations, including its neighbours, India and China.

The PM said the constitution had, for the first time, incorporated many rights related to social justice and ensured representation of women, Dalits, Madhesi, indigenous nationalities, Tharus, Muslims and other minorities in state organs.

The PM said the ongoing agitation in the Tarai had caused difficulties and hardship to all sections of society. “We all need to be cautious that the agitation does not spoil our social harmony, country’s capability and our international relations,” the PM added.

He also urged the Government of India to enable Nepal to exercise its transit rights and facilities.

The PM said the government negotiators were holding dialogue with the protesting forces and the success of talks would depend on roles of both sides. He urged the protesting forces to withdraw programmes that could have crippling effect on the overall supply of goods and the country’s economy.

He added that the constitution had provisioned for commissions on indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, Muslims and Tharu communities, which is a strong evidence of inclusive democracy.

Koirala said the constitution was progressive document and would evolve as per the needs of the time.

He said the constitution was exemplary not only in terms of its contents but also because of the process that was followed to draft it. The PM said the government also played an important role in the rehabilitation works after April 25 earthquake.

The PM urged the protesting parties to seek resolution of their concerns through dialogue.