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Consensus a distant dream

KATHMANDU, DEC 29 - Major political forces have yet again failed to agree on a common prime ministerial candidate despite assurance to accomplish it before President Ram Baran Yadav returns from his five-day visit to India. Parties, instead, seem further bewildered and are awaiting the head of state’s next step.  

The parties shied away from holding any formal or informal talks within the five-day deadline which expired on Saturday. Top leaders of major parties remained busy in their intra-party affairs.

Cross-party negotiators said they are waiting for “the message sent by the southern neighbour”, ruling out any chances of agreement among parties in the near future. The parties are not in a mood to budge from their stance and make a compromise to ensure second CA elections. They seemed ready to postpone the planned November election but not ready to sacrifice their agenda.  

After the planned package deal, initiated by UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and some NC leaders, was cold shouldered by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Moracha (SLMM) both NC and Dahal are in quandary over their future roadmap.

The PM and SLMM remain adamant that the NC and the UML should join the current government at least  for some period to make their exit dignified. Dahal also recently urged the opposition to join the government even for a single day to ensure his deputy’s dignified exit, only to be rejected outright. Lately, Federal Democratic Republican Alliance, a network of ruling parties, has come up with a new proposal—to raise the agenda of CA revival if consensus is not possible by January 9. The opposition parties have said that a CA revival option is “date expired pills for country’s ills”.

They have also rejected ruling coalition’s proposal to form a neutral government led by independent people. Prime Minister’s Political Advisor Devendra Poudel said the CA revival is the best alternative to end the current deadlock. “In the absence of legitimate body to move ahead, the CA revival is the safest option and there will be intensive discussion about it in the coming days,” said Poudel.

Maoist Chairman Dahal is busy to prepare political document to present at the party’s seventh General Convention that starts on February 2. NC President Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal are busy in the party’s internal meetings and gatherings. Opposition parties, including the NC and the UML, appear more confused about their roadmap after they failed to unseat PM Bhattarai.

Leaders say the President cannot stay idle extending the deadline for indefinite period. NC and UML leaders say the head of state should provide a political outlet to the country.

Posted on: 2012-12-30 08:36

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