In a move that is likely to lead the offices of the Prime Minister and the President to a collision course, the government on Sunday took strong exception to President Ram Baran Yadav’s call on political parties to come up with a consensus prime ministerial candidate within a week.
A Cabinet meeting on Sunday concluded that the President’s move was against the Interim Constitution and that the head of state has no authority to give legal status to anyone or remove anyone from such a status.
On Friday, the head of state appealed to the parties to find a consensus PM candidate by 4 pm on Thursday. The Cabinet also deduced that the political impasse can end only if the President endorses an agreement among the parties forwarded by the Cabinet. It further said Article 38 (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 time when there is no parliament.” The Cabinet said the letter sent by the President to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on May 29, declaring him a caretaker, was also against the constitution.
“The Prime Minister feels betrayed by the President,” said Minister for Cooperatives Eknath Dhakal. “The President says one thing during one-on-one meetings and does something else,” Dhakal quoted PM Bhattarai as saying. The decision to strongly object to the President’s move stems from the fact that “the President is making attempts to exercise executive authority and needs to be stopped in time.”
Posted on: 2012-11-26 09:29