Kathmandu, May 5, 2009
An all-party meeting — called by the CPN-UML at Singhadurbar — today tried to pull out all stops at forming a national consensus government, which is the first option for the parties as per the Interim Constitution. If this bid fails, then there will be a bid to form a majority government. In that scenario, the parties will have to garner the support of at least 301 Constituent Assembly (CA) members.
One seat in the 601-member CA fell vacant after NC lawmaker Bodhnarayan Sardar had expired. As per the Interim Constitution, the PM in the running must prove his/her majority on the floor of the House. The Unified CPN-Maoist, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), Nepal Workers and Peasant’s Party (NWPP) and Rastriya Janata Dal did not attend today’s meeting. Speaking to media persons after the meeting, CPN-UML President Jhala Nath Khanal said, “We are making every effort to form a consensus government, which is likely to include the Unified CPN Maoist. If our efforts fail, then a majority government will be formed. A party, which doesn’t want to join the government, is welcome to provide outside support.” The NC today made it clear that it would not stake claim for the Prime Minister’s chair. NC vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel endorsed the party’s view, saying that it wanted the UML to lead the new coalition.
Confusion looms large in faction-ridden Nepali Army
Kathmandu, May 5, 2009
Confusion prevails in the headquarters of the Nepali Army (NA). The is largely because Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, who has been in the eye of the storm following his removal by the Maoist-led government on Sunday, continues to pay heed to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s order to stay put. The President is also the supreme commander of the NA. While, the presence of Lt General Kul Bahdaur Khadka, who has been appointed as acting CoAS by the government, has led to confusion among senior NA officials. For instance, CoAS Katawal and Lt General Khadka were confined to their own chambers today. Though the army chief held meetings in his chamber, the Maoist nominee was conspicuous by his absence. Meanwhile, the headquarters has issued circulars to respective NA units to carry out their work under the able guidance of CoAS Katawal following the President’s intervention. “There is confusion since the President has neither upheld the decision of the government nor the government’s decision,” said a general in the NA. Though speculations were rife that Lt General Khadka would either resign or proceed on home leave after the Maoists quit the government yesterday, he is still coming for work. As for his studied silence, he said he was keeping quiet for the sake of the nation.
A version of this article appears in print on May 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.