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Rift between Nepal PM, President over govt formation

KATHMANDU (PTI): The political crisis plaguing Nepal deepened further with reports surfacing on Monday of a rift between President Rambaran Yadav and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai over the formation of a consensus government.

The Cabinet meeting headed by Bhattarai on Sunday termed as “unconstitutional” the President’s move to call political parties to form a national consensus government.

The meeting termed the President’s move as “breaching of the Interim Constitution”, saying that the “President has no authority to ask political parties to form a consensus government or to sack the Prime Minister”, Cabinet sources said.

“Article 38 Clause 1 of the interim Constitution can be evoked only when a Parliament is in place for the appointment of a prime minister and formation of a Cabinet under him and therefore, the provision cannot be used at a twine when there is no Parliament,” the Cabinet decision further said.

However, President Yadav has said that his decision was in line with the provisions of the Interim Constitution.

“The government should not have taken a decision to denounce his call for a consensus government,” according to President’s press advisor Rajendra Dahal.

The President informed Prime Minister yesterday about his move when Bhattarai went to Shital Niwas to apprise the former of the cabinet decision.

President Yadav has called on political parties to name the prime ministerial candidate through consensus after Prime Minister Bhattarai said in a televised address that he is ready to step down if political parties reach consensus on formation of a new government.

“The President said that he had issued the call for a consensus government to end the current political deadlock,” according to the press advisor.

“The President also told Prime Minister Bhattarai to cooperate as that would ultimately benefit the nation,” Dahal said.

President told the Prime Minister that the procedure to form a consensus government has already begun and would continue accordingly, Dahal said.

The 601-member Constituent Assembly was dissolved by Bhattarai on May 27 without promulgating the new Constitution. He also announced fresh elections on November 22, a move described as illegal by other political parties.

Meanwhile, senior Madhesi leader Mahanta Thakur has met Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala at Koirala’s residence at Maharajgunj on Monday morning.

During the meeting the two leaders discussed about formation of a national consensus government as per the call made by the President.

The meeting between Thakur, the president of Terai Madhes Democratic Party, and Koirala is termed here as significant. The Joint Madhesi Front is the major ruling alliance supporting the Maoist led government.

Published Date: Monday, November 26th, 2012 | 07:43 AM

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