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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Stays On-Part 31

Issue 43, October 21, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Head of State President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, and Head of Government Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai have had the words of war. President Dr. Yadav has said no matter what others say he would not keep quiet if the political parties would not build a consensus on the contentious issues and would not break the current political gridlock. Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai in turn warned the president of not having any authority to make any political move on his own. The president has been under the heavy pressure of his former colleagues of the NC members to fire the prime minister and turn over the power to them. After the meeting with the head of state on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said that the president and he agreed on not venting their rage and despair in public. The President held an all-party meeting at his office on Friday, October 19, 2012, and he read out the seven-point statement to the political leaders but no discussion about anything was held.

Speaking at one of the public functions he attended, President Dr. Yadav said that he would not be a mute spectator to the current political deadlock rather would intervene in the political affairs if the leaders would not resolve the political issues. He also said that he was a patron of the constitution and he had to safeguard the achievements made by various people’s movement. However, he did not mention how he would intervene in the political matters and how he would protect the people’s achievements.

Stating the president could not stay idle watching the current political deadlock, most probably, President Dr. Yadav is going to yield to the whip of the NC cadre Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat that has been whipping the president for quickly taking actions against the current government in other words firing the coalition government of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF and turning over the power to the coalition of the NC and the CPN-UML. If the president were politically matured he would never jump into this disastrous action that would surely bring political chaos that would most probably sweep away the president from the office giving way to another coup if we accept the declaration of the general elections to a new CA as a coup labeled by President of NC Sushil Koirala. Thereafter, one coup after another might follow causing political instability.

Speaking to the reporters at the Biratnagar airport on his way back to Kathmandu, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said that the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 did not allow the president to make any move on his own; so, his warning of not keeping quiet did not make any sense; however, he would find out what the president had on his mind when he would be in Kathmandu.

The best intervention of the president would be to shepherd all political parties to the general elections to a new CA, and take the people’s mandate to complete the crafting of a new constitution. Such an intervention might be in the form of issuing the presidential ordinances on all the issues concerning the elections for holding smooth elections to a new CA following the recommendations of the prime minister. Then, the performances of the president would be written in golden letters in the history of Nepal.

However, if the intervention of the president means firing the current prime minister and turning over the power to the opposition coalition of the NC and CPN-UML following the pressure of his former NC colleagues then the president would certainly invite another coup that would lead the country to a political disastrous. In this case, the president would lose not only his office but also the chance for getting his name written in golden letters in the history. He would be another dictator that might live a week weeks at the most a few months. So, Mr. president, choice is yours but sincere Nepalis want you to be wise and simply follow the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 to save the country from going back to anarchy.

As usual, the NC leaders have been restless not having power. So, they have been openly putting pressure on the president to fire the current prime minister, and then turn over the power to one of the NC leaders. They simply want the president to take the actions, they don’t care about what would happen to the country and whether such actions would be a constitutional move or not. So, they would continue to put pressure on the president. However, the president as the highest elected official should not simply give in to the pressure of his former colleagues that have no regards for the rule of law and violate the constitution causing serious political consequences. For example, some NC leaders have strongly reacted to the prime minister’s statement of the Interim Constitution of Nepal did not permit the president to take any actions on his own. However, none of the NC leaders has raised any voice against the Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai promoting the allegedly criminal colonel Raju Basnet to brigadier general.

Disregarding the constitutional provision, if the president were to take any actions and would fire the current government, then it would be a coup and the coalition of the UCPN-Maoist and UDMF would act accordingly. The coalition of the UCPN-Maoist and UDMF would use its power to remove the president and the government he has set up not following the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007. Mr. President then could declare a state of emergency as suggested by another political leader called Narayanman Bijuckchhe: Chairman of Nepal Workers and Peasants’ party. You can order the Nepal Army to crush the coalition of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF but whether you would be able to finish off this political force comprising the UCPN-Maoist and UDMF or this political force would finish you and your NC colleagues for whom you would risk your office and even life in taking a wrong decision on firing one prime minister and appointing another remains to be seen.

Mr. President should know that the current Nepal has been quite different from the past, as Nepalis have been politically more knowledgeable than any other time in the history of Nepal. You have seen that not only the current ruling coalition and the opposition coalition are the political forces but also another force of the ethnic and Madheshi people has been emerging in the political arena. So, if Mr. President were to make unconstitutional moves then every village would rise up against such moves. Certainly, some not-law-abiding NC and CPN-UML cadres also would come out supporting your move but ultimately the rule of law would prevail, as Nepalis in the 21st would not live in chaos.

You have seen Mr. President, some of your colleagues for not following the law have been landed in jail and serving the jail term. If the president could then should put the pressure on the current government to enforce recommendations made by the National Human Rights Commission for bringing the perpetrators of the human rights violation both Maoists and the Nepal Army officials to justice. The UN human rights agency has published the report on the human rights violations during the decade-long conflict. The irony is that instead of welcoming such a report and promising to take actins against the perpetrators of human rights violation following the report, the current government has questioned the validity of the report and the legitimacy of the UN agency for publishing such a report. Mr. President should correct such anomaly of the current government. In this case, Mr. President should not keep mute, should speak out and even take actions if the constitution allows you.

Mr. Prime Minister also should not simply stick to the chair and should do something that would make really a good impression of you. Unfortunately, you promoted Colonel Raju Basnet to brigadier general, and have not arrested Balkrishna Dhungel and Agni Sapkota. You knew Colonel Raju Basnet was responsible for the enforced disappearance of 49 Maoists in 2003, and the Supreme Court of Nepal had ruled Balkrishna Dhungel a murderer and sentenced him to a life imprisonment confiscating his property, and you also knew Agni Sapkota was involved in murder but your government has not even arrested Balkrishna Dhungel; your party has made Agni Sapkota the spokesman. These acts are shame on you and on your party. If you were not to follow the rule of law, Mr Prime Minister, you would not be able to keep the office for long. Once a month you go to a village and stay with villagers and made a good impression but Nepalis in general might not be impressed by your performances if you were not different from your predecessors such as Madhav Nepal that also had promoted the allegedly criminal army officials.

The president said that the government could not break the current political deadlock; so, a national consensus government inclusive of the NC and CPN-UML is necessary to resolve the political problems. That is easy for Mr. President to say so but it is hard to form such a government. The NC had sent its members to join the UCPN-Maoist-led government just a few weeks before the dissolution of the CA in May 2011; thereafter, the NC pulled its members out of the government headed by Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, and went a head-on collision with the government. A saying has it that you can take a horse to a stream but you cannot force the horse to drink water. Similar thing is happening with the NC. So, Mr. President is again right saying that only an election to a new CA is left. However, Mr. President should not wait for the NC to join the government for cooperating with the government on holding an election to a new CA. If the government were to fail holding the election then Mr. President would be partially or even wholly responsible for it.

“If parties fail to reach to an understanding over the contentious issues at the earliest, I shall intervene; I am not only a patron of constitution I have also a duty to safeguard achievements attained through different democratic revolution,” said Head of State Dr. Ram Baran Yadav while inaugurating the Chamber Day 2012 amidst a function held by Nepal Chamber of Commerce in Kathmandu on October 13, 2012 (Source: THT ONLINE).

Talking to reporters at Biratnagar airport on October 14, 2012, a day after President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav warned political parties of he would not stay idle after the October 16 deadline set by the parties for building a political consensus, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai made it clear that a figurehead President’s warning did not hold any water as the Interim Constitution had not given him any executive prerogative. “Warning that he will not stay mum does not matter as he does not possess any executive power,” Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said. Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai also said that after returning to Kathmandu he would find out on what grounds the President gave his warning. “The President should not use the conflict among parties as a pretext to engage in active politics,” Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said, “It is inappropriate for the President to issue diktat to the government as it is the responsibility of the government and parties to fix the date and conduct elections.” He accused the President of trying to create friction among the parties instead of helping them come closer to political consensus. Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai remarked that they would not accept the President’s order. “We will accept only people’s decision and directive not the President’s,” he said. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE)

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 held serious consultation to do away with growing misunderstanding and rift between themselves. The two also agreed to jointly find a way out of the prevalent political crisis facing the country at the earliest. The nearly three-hour discussion between the head of state and the head of government concluded after the two reached a mutual understanding not to increase conflict and misunderstanding among them and heighten the existing political crisis by making any public remarks against each other. (Source:

After the meeting with the president at the President’s office at Maharajgunj on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai said that his relation with the head of the state was not deteriorating as aired by the medias. “We mulled over ways to work together on a common enterprise: how to put an end to the existing political impasse,” said the Prime Minister while talking to the reporters, “We need to move ahead in cooperation to institutionalize the achievements attained so far through various democratic movements.” (Source: THT ONLINE).

NC leaders criticized Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 for his public remarks on President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. "As a caretaker Prime Minister, Bhattarai cannot dictate what the President should or should not do," said NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel while speaking at a media gathering held by Nepal Press Union in Waling of Syangja. "He simply has no right to speak outrageously," he added. NC general secretary Prakash Man Singh accused Prime Minister Bhattarai of "going all-out to defame the President". "The President does have a right to make calls to the parties as a guardian of the constitution," he said at a program in the capital. "Bhattarai is trying to defame the President after he could not do things according to his choice." Meanwhile, President Yadav has called an all-party meeting at Shital Niwas at 9 am Friday morning. The UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML, UDMF, CPN-Maoist and more than 20 other parties represented in the dissolved CA have been invited to the discussion that is being held two days after the four major parties missed the self-imposed deadline to find consensus. (Source:

Speaking at a press meet held by the Revolutionary Journalists' Association in Baglung on October 16, 2012, UCPN-Maoist leader Dinanath Sharma said, “Interim Constitution has restricted President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to a ceremonial status, so he should not cross the constitutional limit.” Urging the President to abide by the Interim Constitution, Sharma said that it was the political parties’ responsibility to build a consensus on all thorny issues including a national unity government formation, reinstatement of the CA or polls, and federalism; the head of the state should not intervene. “Opposition parties are pushing president to act as an executive,” said Education Minister Dinanath Sharma. (Source: THT ONLINE)

Talking to a Kathmandu-based Radio FM on Sunday, October 13, 2012, General Secretary of CPN-UML Ishwor Pokharel said that President Dr Ram Baran Yadav did not have a constitutional right to intervene in the state affairs. CPN-UML leader Pokhrel said so only a day after the head of the state reprimanded political stakeholders, and warned of a probable presidential intervention if they did not build a political consensus by the deadline they set. “President can only direct parties to inch closer to understanding but has no right to intervene,” said Pokharel. (Source: THT ONLINE)

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav on Monday, October 15, 2012 made it clear that the dissolved assembly "cannot be resurrected at any cost". "Since the Interim Constitution and the Supreme Court verdict state that election is the only way forward; the parties do not have any other option," RSS quoted President Yadav as saying while talking to media persons in Dhanusha. He also said that the Maoist-Madhesi coalition government could not find a solution to the current deadlock; so, a national government inclusive of the NC and the CPN-UML is necessary. Asked about Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai's remarks that he, as the constitutional head of state, should stop making political statements, President Yadav said, "I don't think it's necessary to bother about who is saying what." "The political parties have no alternative than going for fresh elections as per the spirit of the Interim Constitution and the Supreme Court's verdict", the President said, "The responsibility of guaranteeing the promulgation of a new constitution with consensus among political parties falls upon my shoulders and the political parties should follow the path from which the new constitution will come out; the people are the future of the nation and the new constitution should be given to them by institutionalizing the achievements of the people's movement of 2006. It is necessary to give the nation a new constitution on time, and is not possible as the political parties are focused on state power only.” (Source: RSS/

Speaking at the function of opening the general convention of the far-west district presidents and representatives of NC in Tikapur on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, President of NC Sushil Koirala said that the decision made by Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on May 27, 2012 on dissolving the Constituent Assembly and holding fresh election was in fact a political coup. President Koirala said, “The nation is in a state of indecision owing to the ‘coup’ PM Bhattarai resorted to on May 27, creating mistrust among the parties.” Dismissing the statement by senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, Koirala said that no one would accept the reinstatement of the CA, which has already become defunct. (Source:

Talking to journalists at the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Monday, October 14, 2012, General Secretary of NC Krishna Prasad Sitaula said that a new consensus government would be formed within the mid-November. Sitaula said, “I believe Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will step down realizing that he was becoming a major stumbling block for consensus. He is a learned person and he would do it even for the sake of country. However, if he did not quit, he would be removed by President Ram Baran Yadav.” Former Deputy Prime Minister holding the portfolio of Home Minister Sitaula said that the President would, however, take the decision on the consensus among the political parties. “Even if the consensus fails to take place, the President will have to appoint a new PM from among the political parties itself taking a majority of political forces into confidence,” Sitaula added. (The irony is that Mr. Sitaula as the member of the so-called Democratic Party NC has failed to notice that the majority of the political forces is currently holding the power). Asked about the mid-November deadline imposed by President, Sitaula said, “It is imperative to hold fresh Constituent Assembly polls within Baisakh (mid-May). A new government needs at least six months for making preparations for the polls. And if the fresh polls could not be held within Baisakh, it is difficult to hold elections in Jesth, Ashad and Shrawan (June, July) due to weather and other reasons. So, the fresh polls cannot be pushed for after Baisakh due to different logistical reasons.” Sitaula ruled out the possibility of CA’s revival to promulgate a new constitution and amend the interim constitution due to two reasons. First, during the latest talks it was clear that the UCPN-Maoist has been demanding the CA revival to prolong the government for a long time until they could create their upper hand. So, the opposition parties are not ready to let that happen. Second, there is no alternative to take political decision while opting for any of the options, as the interim constitution does not have any provisions for both alternatives: reviving CA and amending the interim constitution for fresh polls in the absence of parliament. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE)

Speaking at a press meet held by the Awadh Journalists Society in Nepaligunj on Monday, October 14, 2012, Physical Planning Works and Transport Management Minister Hridesh Tripathi said that the current constitution has not empowered the President with any rights except for executing his official duties. Tripathi said that the President could not use any special power except for obeying the duties. Even if prime minister were to resign then he would still be the prime minister till the selection of his replacement, Tripathi added. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE)

Addressing the interaction on the ‘Nepali Nationalism and BP Koirala’ in Kathmandu on Sunday, October 13, 2012, Central Working Committee member and former general secretary of NC Kul Bahadur Gurung accused his party’s top leaders of becoming prey to the Maoists ploy and that too at the cost of party’s ideology. Gurung said, “The party leadership is divided and it does not have a clear stance and thought on national issues.” “The NC leaders are running after the assurances tempted by Maoists. So, the party is gradually losing both its direction and purpose.” “It has been weakened as the party leadership has given up its fight and the top brass is tempted by the prime ministerial position.” (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE)

On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, Central member of NC Shekhar Koirala blamed NC senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and vice-president of NC Ram Chandra Poudel for supporting the reinstatement of the dissolved CA in the hope of taking the office of Prime Minister; Koirala also accused Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda of hatching conspiracy offering the position of Prime Minister either to Deuba or Poudel, making them to favor the reinstatement of the CA resurrection. Koirala said that the President could not sack the Prime Minister; so, the parties should stop seeking the help of the President to oust the Bhattarai-led government. (Source: THT ONLINE)

Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels on October 15, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said, “The breakthrough in the rehabilitation and integration of combatants should have made the drafting of the new constitution easier. However, because of the lack of flexibility on the part of some political forces, issues and aspirations pertaining to Jaanajatis, Madhesis, Dalits and people from other backward regions have become difficult to accommodate. Unless major contentious issues like these are resolved, consensus on constitution writing will continue to be a problematic.” This, together with the issue of identity-based federalism, is one of the most important reasons why the extended term of the CA expired without the delivery of a new constitution, he added. Chairman Prachanda also said that the CA was dissolved because of the unwillingness of the traditional parliamentary parties to part with the power and privileges hitherto enjoyed by them at the expense of the legitimate aspirations and rights of the downtrodden and marginalized people. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE of October 16, 2012)

Speaking at an interaction in Kathmandu on Thursday, October 18, 2012, Central Working Committee member of NC Prakash Sharan Mahat said that his party might go for the reinstatement of the dissolved CA if the parties were to show readiness to resolve constitution-related disputes following the understanding reached among the parties on May 15. The three major political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, NC and CPN-UML along with the UDMF had reached an understanding to adopt a 11-state federal structure leaving the names of the states to be determined by elected state assemblies, and adopt a mixed governance system of a bicameral parliament with the 371-member Lower House (House of Representatives) and 60-member Upper House on May 15, 2012. However, the CA was dissolved without promulgating a constitution as parties failed to implement the understanding. "Our party is open to discuss on both options: giving rebirth to the dissolved CA or holding fresh election. But other parties should be ready to settle the disputed issues related to the constitution on the basis of previous understanding," he said. (Source:

Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that opposition parties should also need to agree on holding a presidential election if they were to go for fresh polls without reinstating the dissolved CA. Chairman Prachanda presented the new proposal for presidential elections to President of NC Sushil Koirala at the meeting held on Thursday morning, October 18, 2012. Chairman Prachanda said that if the parties were to agree on reinstating the CA, then the revived CA could promulgate a new constitution paving the way for parliamentary elections. In this case, his party would accept a Congress-led government to hold polls. (Source:

On October 19, 2012, almost after three weeks of his last meeting with top political leaders, President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav called an all-party meeting and urged them to build a political consensus to break the current political and constitutional deadlock. President Yadav read out a seven-point statement to the political leaders at the meeting, and told them to break the current political gridlock following the constitution.

The following is the transcript of the statement President Dr. Yadav read out at the all-party meeting held on October 19, 2012 posted on ‘THT ONLINE’:


(Unofficial translation of his address to the party leaders)

1. I would like to welcome you all again. I think you will not take this invitation as a trouble ahead of the festive season. This is not my wish but my moral duty to invite you all and pledge for breaking the political deadlock through a consensus. And I hope you will understand it.

2. Nepalis had expected that they would receive a new constitution from the constitutional assembly through their representatives in  it. It has already been five month since the demise of CA.

How will the nation and people get a new constitution? This question is becoming more and more complex in the country when the new poll proposed for November 22 is still uncertain.

3. The nation is at an unimaginable situation. The Interim Constitution hadn’t foreseen it. As a result, different constitutional, legal, political and economic problems are rampant.

Different legal and behavioral obstacles are emerging, as constitutional appointment couldn’t be made. Government can bring ordinances to solve the hurdles related to daily operation. But, we should not let our democratic identity and commitments be declined at the time when there is no parliament elected by people. It is my request that all the political parties should reach an agreement on ordinance. And I would like to repeat this again.

4. Our Constituent Assembly was a historic one. It was elected through a democratic way; it had received international support and acceptance, and it was participatory too. There is an urgent need for building a consensus among political parties following the Interim Constitution to resolve the current crisis.

Therefore, I have been requesting all the parties time and again to forge consensus through dialogues, co-operations and agreements.

5. I am worried about the challenges that the nation is facing. I am also experiencing similar obstacles and challenges faced by you all. I was informed that an agreement was forged among major political parties on modalities and process of election. You had promised people that you would reach a consensus regarding date of election, number of representatives and unity government by the mid-October.

I am again requesting you all to forge consensus at the earliest so that political uncertainty, constitutional crisis and problems related to budget don’t get worsen.

Thus, I would like to request you all to forge consensus and lead the nation to its destination. You need to make me clear on my role for consensus formation. There is always support from my side regarding your attempts to lead the country out of crisis. I do believe that the outlet for current crisis will be sought in accordance to the constitution.

6. I would like to praise the patience of Nepali brothers and sisters, who are still waiting for a new democratic constitution. Let’s hope that the nation will get political outlet and our forthcoming days will be bright.

7. Best wishes to you all on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami, Deepawali and Chhath. I would like to wish you success on political outlet that will lead the nation towards peace and prosperity.

Ends the statement of the president.

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav on Friday, October 19, 2012 once again urged the political parties to forge a consensus to lead the nation out of political and constitutional crisis. Speaking to the top leaders of 33 political parties at the Sheetal Niwas, President Dr. Yadav drew their attention to the existing crisis, and shared greetings of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivals. He had read out a written statement on the occasion, urging the parties to abide by all the past pacts on thorny issues. He further expressed his readiness to support the parties to resolve the crisis. Besides top leaders of the political parties, Vice President Paramananda Jha and Prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai were also present on the occasion. (Source: THT ONLINE)

The followings are the reactions of the political leaders to the all-party meeting called by the president as published in ‘The Himalayan Times’ of October 19, 2012:

•    Sushil Koirala, President, NC: The President seriously urged the parties to define his role in the event of parties’ failure to forge consensus. The President asked parties what happened to their earlier commitment to forge consensus by mid-October. But UCPN-Maoist’s ever-changing stance has been a major stumbling block to consensus. The Maoists are neither serious nor sensitive and have failed to take other parties into confidence. The Maoists must create an environment of trust for building consensus. UCPN-Maoist Chairman’s proposal to hold election for President is nonsense.

•    Mohan Baidhya, Chairman, CPN-Maoist: The President expressed serious concern about the protracted deadlock and urged the parties to step on the gas. But the wrongdoers should first analyze their mistakes and vow not to repeat them. Secondly, the problem will never be resolved until the parties start thinking beyond government formation — one section wants to cling on to power, another does not want to talk unless there is dialogue for government formation. Both sections are extremists.

•    Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), Chairman, UCPN-Maoist: There was nothing new. We had no discussions as such. The President only inspired us to forge consensus at the earliest. The parties will, however, continue discussions and hopefully there will be consensus before Tihar.

•    Jhala Nath Khanal, Chairman, CPN-UML: The President talked about three things: national consensus, prudence use of ordinances and crises facing the country. He reminded (the government) that in the absence of Parliament, political consensus is a must to run the government. We were there only to listen.

October 20, 2012

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