Parties miss deadline, diappoint Prez again

  • 4 major political forces meeting Prez today

KATHMANDU, DEC 07 -

President Ram Baran Yadav is disappointed over major parties’ failure to pick up a common prime ministerial candidate and feels that the delay in agreement could hit the plan to conduct next elections in April-May.

The concern from Sheetal Niwas comes in light of parties’ inability to strike an agreement on a candidate to head a national unity government within Thursday’s deadline. The head of state had last week provided additional seven days, in line with the request of major political leaders, for an agreement.

“The president appreciates the efforts made by parties through talks to arrive at consensus. However, he is disappointed by their failure to deliver result,” said President’s Press Advisor Rajendra Dahal. “The prolongation of impasse is a tragedy for the nation.”

Top leaders of four major political forces are all set to meet the President on Friday morning to share the progress they have made so far towards reaching consensus. Top leaders of three major parties and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha on Thursday agreed to request the President for another extension of the deadline.

Though the President is likely to endorse the request for extension on Friday, he will also give a message to leaders that delay over a cross-party agreement would put plans to conduct polls within April-May at risk. An aide to the President said the head of state could adopt a ‘new strategy’ to generate more pressure on parties for a new agreement.

“Such an effort by the President will be guided by understanding among parties. There is no concrete roadmap but discussions are underway on other options too,” said the source. An opposition leader claimed that the head of the state would extend the deadline for national unity government at least till mid-December.

Negotiators themselves are not optimistic that the extension of the deadline would bring parties together on formation of a national unity government. Ruling and opposition parties are parting from each other rather than inching closer towards a new deal.

A four-party discussion on Thursday failed to make any progress after parties repeated their old stance. In response to NC’s claim for leadership of the election government, the ruling parties have sought for a package deal on all outstanding issues including incorporating all the constitutional issues already agreed upon during the four-year term of the dissolved Constituent Assembly.

CPN-UML leader Bam Dev Gautam said Maoists are adamant to remain in power hence it is meaningless to seek a solution only through talks. “We should now take to the streets that will inevitably invite the ruling regime’s suppression on us,” said Gautam.

NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Situala said his party would hit the streets only to pressure Maoists to come for a compromise. “We want to reach an agreement through talks because elections are not possible without taking the Maoists on board,” said Situala.

UCPN(Maoist) spokesperson Agni Sapkota said that the opposition parties were only concentrating on government formation without any sincere effort on their part to agree on the outstanding issues of the new constitution in a package.

Posted on: 2012-12-07 08:09