Overwhelming majority against CJ-led govt
KATHMANDU, Feb 16: The central committee (CC) meeting of the CPN-UML remained inconclusive on Friday as an overwhelming majority of CC members strongly objected to the proposal to form an election government under the leadership of the sitting chief justice even as top leaders of the party lobbied in favor of the proposal.
Of the total 40 members who aired their views during the deliberations, some 30 leaders not only vehemently opposed the proposal but also criticized the top leadership for supporting the idea. With the UML meeting inconclusive, the four-party meeting called at the president´s office later in the evening couldn´t make any headway either. Top leaders from the four major political forces have been called for Saturday.
“A majority of the 40 or so members airing their views suggested to the leadership not to accept the proposal, saying such a move may pose a serious threat to the basic democratic principle of separation of powers among the three branches of government — executive, legislative and judiciary,” UML Spokesman Pradeep Gyawali told reporters after the meeting. However, some members, according to him, said the party should be ready for a CJ-headed government, pointing out that the exit of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and ensuring fresh elections have become paramount. The meeting will resume on Saturday.
“For now, the party will still lobby for a new government led by a political party leader,” said Gyawali.
Party Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and senior leaders KP Sharma Oli, Bamdev Gautam, Bidyadevi Bhandari and Bishnu Paudel, among others, had tried to persuade the CC members over the proposal, pointing out that they accepted the idea only with a view to give an outlet to the country that has been plunged into a multiple crisis. The party leadership, at a standing committee meeting on Thursday, had decided to accept the proposal and called an emergency CC meeting for Friday with a view to have it endorsed by the party´s all-powerful body.
Key party leaders including Khanal, Oli, Gautam, Bhandari and Paudel are in favor of forming a CJ-headed government. Only General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel is firmly against. Though former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is out of the country, he is also in favor of the proposal. Sources said Nepal, who is currently in France, telephoned some leaders close to himself and instructed them to stand in favor of the proposal.
CC members were taken by surprise when Oli, who had strongly opposed the proposal in previous days, repeatedly requested them during the CC meeting to support the idea.
In his bid to persuade members, Vice-chairman Gautam requested the latter to support the proposal and assured them of the senior leaders working as per the spirit of the CC members. “Just support us this time by endorsing this proposal. If we fail to work as per the CC´s mandate in the days to come, we will quit the party leadership. We´ll welcome you comrades to this [front] row and we ourselves will be in your seats,” a leader quoted Gautam as saying at the meeting.
The senior leaders had argued that they had to accept the proposal as it wouldn´t be wise for the UML to sidestep the crucial political course of ending the protracted political deadlock and holding new elections.
Pradeep Nepal for three-month leave
Fed up with the policies and working style of the party leadership, noted UML leader Pradeep Nepal announced at the central committee meeting on Friday that he was no longer interested in working in the party and demanded that the leadership allow him a three-month leave. “I announced I was staying on leave for three months from party work because the party leadership has shown the height of incompetence in taking right decisions at crucial times,” Nepal told Republica. He was miffed by the key leaders´ readiness to accept a CJ-headed government. He said he would prefer a government headed by UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal but would never accept a non-party government such as the one proposed.
FDRA partners mull severing ties with Maoist
KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Objecting to the proposal of a government led by sitting chief justice, various constituent parties of the ruling Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) have decided to sever ties with the ruling UCPN(Maoist).
A meeting of various seven fringe parties affiliated with FDRA held at the office of Nepali Janata Dal on Friday concluded that the proposal was against the principles of a democratic system.
“We have concluded that the Maoist proposal is against the principle of separation of powers,” said a leader.
The parties have also decided to hold consultation with other small parties before severing ties with the ruling Maoists.
CJ-led govt under Indian directives: CPN-Maoist
KATHMANDU, Feb 15: As the parties are busy in parleys on formation of a chief justice-led (CJ) election government, CPN-Maoist on Friday unveiled a two-day protest programs saying the parties were not actually acting on their own and hinted at the southern neighbor, India, for floating the idea.
Organizing a press meet at its party office, Buddhanagar, CPN (Maoist) Chairman Mohan Baidya accused that the much-hyped formula floated by the UCPN (Maoist) was actually suggested by India.
“Earlier, UCPN (Maoist) had announced to come up with formula to address current political crisis after the party’s Hetauda convention. It is actually not their formula,” Baidya said. The party also accused that the proposal was an attempt to impose party-less system in the country. “Earlier, the palace imposed authoritarian rule in the country, now they (India) are trying to rule us,” Baidya claimed. The party has also unveiled a two-day protests which include protest rallies in the capital on Saturday and in major cities across the country on Sunday. The party made it clear that they would further launch protests acting on the decisions taken by the major parties.