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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Stays On-Part 36

Issue 49, December 2, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Head of State: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has been heading to the political cliff and soon he might fall from the cliff to an abyss. After asking the political parties to form a consensus government within seven days, the president has overstepped the Interim Constitution that has made provision for the president to act only on the recommendation of the prime minister. This is the second time the president has crossed the boundary of the constitution to meet the ambition of his former boss and colleagues. This time, the president would not be able to escape the punishment from the people or the judicial punishment for the political felony he has committed. The president has taken the side of the anti-federalists. Now the federalists need to defend the federalism and push the president from the cliff he is reaching.

On November 23, 2012, the office of the head of state issued a statement calling on the political parties to find out a consensus candidate for the office of prime minister as if the current prime minister has resigned. Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has not resigned, yet; so, he is still a democratically elected government. His term of office will end only after a new CA is elected, and a new prime minister is elected. He has set a new date for the elections to a new CA, as the first date: November 22, 2012 has expired without holding the elections because of no cooperation of the president and the opposition coalition on removing the legal hurdles to holding the elections.

This is the second violation of the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 committed by the President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. The first violation he had committed was in 2009 when he wrote a letter directly to the Chief of Army Staff invalidating the firing of the Chief of Army Staff done by the then Prime Minister Prachanda. The first violation of the constitution had put the opposition coalition in power leading to the current political deadlock. Whether the current violation of the constitution also will put the opposition coalition in power remains to be seen but the intention of the president clearly is to do so.

The head of state: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has played a double role in the state affairs. He did not cooperated with the Council of Ministers on holding the elections to a new CA scheduled for November 22, 2012 holding back the ordinances the Council of Ministers had submitted him to remove the hurdles to holding the elections. So, President Yadav needed to explain to the people why he did not issue the ordinances that would have made possible to hold the elections. Now, President Yadav issued a statement to find out a new prime minister playing another role in the state affairs. If anybody reads through the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007, s/he will find that there is no such provision for the president to issue such a statement.

The statement the office of the president issued has said that the president has used the Article 36A of the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 to ask the political parties for finding out a common candidate for a new prime minister following the Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007.

The Article 36A states, “President: (1) There shall be a President in Nepal. (2) The President shall be the head of state of the country, and in that capacity perform his or her functions in accordance with this Constitution and the laws in force. (3) The main duty of the President shall be to protect and abide by this Constitution.”

This Article 36A of the constitution clearly says that the president is supposed to protect the constitution and then abide by the constitution. Quoting this article for issuing an order to the political parties to find out a consensus candidate for the office of prime minister, the president has made a mockery of his duty of protecting the constitution and then abiding by it. This article clearly does not say that the president has the authority to order the political parties to find out a consensus candidate for the office of prime minister. So, the president has wrongly interpreted this article and then overstepped the constitution for asking the political parties to explore a consensus candidate for a new prime minister.

The Article 38 states, “Formulation of Council of Ministers: (1) The Council of Ministers shall be formed under the chairpersonship of the Prime Minister, on the basis of political understanding. (2) Failing the understanding as referred to in Clause (1), the Prime Minister shall be elected by a majority of the total number of the then members of the Legislature-Parliament.”

The president quoted the Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 to call the political parties on finding out a consensus candidate for the office of prime minister but the president unscrupulously and deliberately missed the sub-section (2) that clearly states that this Article 38 is for asking the political parties in the legislature-parliament to form a new government. Currently, the country has no legislature-parliament. So, the president has no authority to use this article for forming a government, as the article is only when the country has a parliament.

However, the leaders of the opposition coalition of NC and CPN-UML have welcomed the president’s unconstitutional action clearly showing that they are not for the rule of law but for grabbing the power anyhow. The president has not turned over the power to them but simply has said even unconstitutionally to find out a common candidate for a new prime minister.

The opposition leaders have been exploring how to form a new government. The president of NC Sushil Koirala hosted a luncheon meeting with the heads of the diplomatic missions in Kathmandu on Saturday, November 24, 2012 to sound out their views about the unconstitutional call of the president that asked the political parties to find out a common candidate for a new prime minister within a week. Certainly, the diplomats will not accept the move of the president made going against the constitution.

Nobody knows what the president will do if the political parties cannot come up with a common candidate for the office of a new prime minister within the seven days he has set for them. It is most likely that the political parties will not be able to come with a common candidate in view of their past performances in building a political consensus. Whether the president will use the Article 38 (2) to call on the political parties to find out a majority candidate remains to be seen after the political parties miss the deadline for choosing a common candidate for a new prime minister. The political trend shows that the president might do so.

The opposition coalition can find a common candidate of its own but such a candidate needs to pass the tests of other political parties including the ruling coalition. Clearly, the ruling coalition is not for accepting the candidate of the opposition coalition rather the ruling coalition wants the opposition coalition to join its government but the opposition coalition has been rejecting so far even though it might be the best way of breaking the current political deadlock. Then, if the president calls on the political parties to form a majority government even then the opposition coalition has no majority without the support of either the UCPN-Maoist or the UDMF. Both the UCPN-Maoist and the UDMF have been holding on to the alliance between them and has been in power. They are not in a mood to break the alliance and assist the NC or the CPN-UML in forming a new government.

Some of the political pundits have already floated the idea of making the President of Terai Madheshi Democratic Party (TMDP) Mahanta Thakur as a common candidate for a new prime minister. There is a chance that the ruling coalition might agree on it but the opposition coalition will not have what they have been looking for so far. The opposition coalition can join the government led by Mahanta Thakur that might be clearly a solution to the current political crisis. To this end, the opposition coalition has to be sincere and act sincerely to hold the elections to a new CA. However, the NC leaders want to see one of them becoming the next prime minister. So, the NC leaders are unlikely to take this option, too.

The CPN-Maoist has put forward its general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ as a candidate for a new prime minister. It is nothing but a joke. The leaders of the CPN-Maoist talk and act like the clowns in a circus for the entertainment of the audience. Practically, the leaders of the CPN-Maoist are the bunch of clowns that can say anything whether it makes sense or not. They also said that they would not accept any decision made by the four major political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, UDMF, NC, and CPN-UML. So, they might add some problems to the current political crisis.

Assuming that the political parties could not build a consensus on finding a common candidate for a new prime minister, and the president would call on the political parties for choosing a majority candidate, then the NC and CPN-UML leaders don’t have a majority even with the support of so many small parties. They need the support of either the UCPN-Maoist or the UDMF for forming a new government. The UCPN-Maoist has its man as the head of the government so there is no possibility of supporting the NC but the UDMF might support the NC. However, the UDMF also will ask for the office of prime minister rather than simply supporting the NC for forming its government. As such, the NC does not have a chance to form a new government but the UDMF will not take a chance of forming a new government with the support of the NC and the CPN-UML, as the NC and the CPN-UML have been deadly against the federalism and federal states for which so many brave Madheshi people have sacrificed their beautiful lives. The UDMF is unlikely to waste the sacrifice of so many of its cadres. If the UDMF forms a new government with the support of the NC and the CPN-UML only to meet the power hunger of some political leaders then it will be suicidal to the UDMF.

Therefore, the head of state: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav is doing the political somersaults without having any meanings at all. Probably, the president might have taken such an unconstitutional step just to show the opposition coalition that he is doing some favor to the opposition coalition calling on them to form a new government after the President has approved the budget for the FY 2012 favoring the government. Now, it is time for the president to show some favor to the opposition coalition. If it is so, the president is taking unnecessary political risk that will surely take him to the political cliff from where he might fall to an abyss from where he might never be able to come back.

The president has resolved the political crisis to some extent accepting the budget presented by the finance minister of the Bhattarai government but the president also has created another political crisis calling on the political parties to find out a common candidate for a new prime minister. Unfortunately, the idea of helping the government in holding the elections to a new CA has not popped up on the mind of the president. Surely, only the elections to a new CA can break the current political deadlock.

The coalition government of the UCPN-Maoist and the UDMF has already decided to ask the president for the explanation for his unconstitutional action. The coalition members have first labeled the presidential call on the political parties to find a common candidate for a new prime minister as an unconstitutional, and then have tried to find out whether the legal action or political would be more effective to challenge the president’s unconstitutional step. They decided to take the political path. So, they decided to ask the president for the explanation of his unconstitutional move.

At the same time, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that he is ready to take bullets rather than quitting his office following the unconstitutional move of the president. The prime minister has made it clear to the president and any other persons that he is not going to follow the unconstitutional step of the president. Then, the president has only the military force to use against the prime minister if he wants to remove the prime minister from the office. However, the Nepal Army has repeatedly stated that the army will follow the order of the legitimate government. So, the army might simply refuse to take the unconstitutional order of the president. Thus, the President Yadav is heading to the political cliff. If he does not take measures not to reach the political climax then the political parties, the nation and the president might end up in disastrous.

President Ram Baran Yadav has said that the government should not have taken a decision on denouncing his call on the political parties for a consensus government as he did so following the interim constitution. The President told this to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday evening, November 25, 2012 when the prime minister went to Shital Niwas to apprise the president of the cabinet decision that termed his move "unconstitutional". "I issued the call for a consensus government to end the current political deadlock," Rajendra Dahal, president’s press advisor told ‘Republica’ quoting the president. "He (the president) asked PM Bhattarai to cooperate as that would ultimately benefit the nation." The President also told Bhattarai that the process of forming a consensus government has already started off and would continue, according to Dahal. "The president also said that Sunday’s cabinet decision would only create unwarranted breach of trust and controversy." Dahal also quoted the president as saying that the two institutions must respect each other. "The interim constitution has not given any right to the president to take decision at his own discretion," said Yadav after the cabinet meeting. He also informed that the government decided to inform the president that executive power rests with the government as per the article 37 (1) of the interim constitution. (Source:, November 26, 2012)

In a live telecast address to the nation following a crucial cabinet meeting, on Thursday November 22, 2012, Nepal's embattled Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has said that he is ready to make "any sacrifice" for the sake of national consensus to resolve the current political deadlock plaguing the nation; the Prime Minister called political parties to forge cooperation and collaboration saying that he is ready to make any sacrifice to end the current deadlock. His speech coincided with the date announced by him for holding new elections after he dissolved the Constituent Assembly on May 27 without promulgating a new constitution. The Prime Minister also claimed that the coalition government led by him has successfully concluded the peace process started six years ago and integrated altogether 1,460 Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army through the process of army integration. (, November 22, 2012)

On Saturday, November 24, 2012, the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) had labeled the President ‘step-in’ as unconstitutional. FDRA also has threatened to boycott the process of naming a new Prime Minister. “We cannot take part in any move that is unconstitutional,” FDRA Spokesperson Prem Bahadur Singh said. A press release after a meeting of the FDRA held at UCPN-Maoist headquarters today, said article 38 (1) and 38 (2) of the constitution could be invoked only when parliament exists, which is not the case. Singh has said that an amendment to the Interim Constitution is necessary to end the deadlock. FDRA: the alliance of 21 parties’ also accused the President of harboring a desire to usurp executive powers. The FDRA argued that the Interim Constitution had not envisioned selection or appointment of the Prime Minister except by parliament. “On the one hand, the President relieves the Prime Minister saying he is no longer a member of parliament, while on the other, he seeks a new name for the Prime Minister. This is self-contradictory. It’s not only against the constitution and law but also against the duty and norms of the President,” Singh said, urging the President to correct his move. “The President has no right to give an ultimatum to political parties. He has not shown any concern about amending constitutional provisions that could remove the deadlock,” he added. Although the opposition has welcomed the President’s move, United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF): a key ally of the Bhattarai government has not officially reacted to the move. A UDMF source said the front’s reactions would not be different from FDRA’s, as UDMF leaders endorsed today’s conclusions of the FDRA as well. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE, November 24, 2012)

On Saturday, November 24, 2012, UCPN-Maoist had accused the head of state of ‘bypassing’ the Prime Minister by dispatching a letter with a weeklong deadline in the name of the chief secretary. The meeting at the party headquarters concluded on the note that the President had crossed the constitutional boundary. (Source: THT ONLINE, November 25, 2012)

Student wing of UCPN-Maoist: All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) is protesting against the ‘unconstitutional’ move of the President on Sunday afternoon. The protest assembly will start at 2:00 pm at Shanti Batika of Ratna Park, informed ANNISU-R President Himal Sharma to THT ONLINE. “Some of the top-notch leaders will be addressing the assembly,” said Sharma. The protest comes day after the mother party UCPN-Maoist meet at Party Headquarters concluded that the President’s move was unconstitutional and party will struggle against it if the head of state fails to retract. On Friday, November 23, 2012, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav had called the political parties to agree on a common Prime Ministerial candidate within a week. (Source: THT ONLINE, November 25, 2012)

Speaking at the training function held at the CPN-Maoist Party's central office at Buddhanagar in Kathmandu on Sunday, November 25, 2012, Vice-chairman of the party CP Gajurel announced that his party had decided to propose General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as its candidate for the post of Prime Minister. He also said that the CPN-Maoist would not accept the prime ministerial candidate of the NC or the UCPN-Maoist party for the consensus government. He also claimed that other political parties would fail to name the candidate for the post of prime minister of the consensus government within the seven days deadline given by the President. (Source: RSS/, November 25, 2012)

In a meeting held at the CPN-UML’s headquarters, Balkhu on November 25, 2012, the leaders of the 16 political parties welcomed President Ram Baran Yadav’s call on the political parties made on Friday, November 23, 2012 to form the next government building a consensus as ‘positive and constitutional,’ and also agreed that the President’s call would encourage the political parties to form a new government building a consensus within the stipulated time, and find a way out of the current crisis. Coming down heavily on the government, a joint press statement issued after the meeting read, “It is inappropriate and undemocratic move to misinterpret and protest the President’s call with a view to prolonging the government’s tenure.” (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE, November 25, 2012)

In a press release issued on November 25, 2012, the CPN-Maoist said, “It’s a positive step of the President at a time when the government was continuing its unconstitutional and anti-national decisions instead of stepping down for the sake of national consensus government, but the move itself conflicts with the recent endorsement of the budget, which has authenticated the government.” The party has demanded that the Baburam Bhattarai-led government must step down without any further delay. “Since the latest political developments have starkly proved the failure of the 12-point agreement and the Comprehensive Peace Accord, we appeal all political parties for a round-table conference to ensure a renewed political deal on new basis,” the statement read, which was jointly signed by Chairman Mohan Baidhya and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE, November 25, 2012)

Major political parties in Nepal began hectic consultations to find a way out of the ongoing crisis as the seven-day deadline set by President Ram Baran Yadav to elect a new prime minister approach. Also, more than a dozen heads of Kathmandu-based diplomatic missions including India met with top political leaders such as Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal over lunch. Besides Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad, ambassadors of USA, UK, Germany, Russia and France were also present during the luncheon organized by Nepali Congress on November 24, 2012. The president's "move will certainly help in resolving the current political impasse," they said and stressed the need "to forge consensus and collaboration among the political parties to end the crisis and hold new election at the earliest" to draft a constitution, according to General Secretary of NC Prakash Man Singh. (Source:, November 25, 2012

Speaking at a tea reception held by the Dang-Kathmandu Journalists Society in Kathmandu on Saturday, November 24, 2012, Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Mohan Baidhya said that the President's call on the political parties to build a consensus within seven days for the formation of a national consensus government would invite additional complexities when there is no Parliament. "A serious doubt has arisen whether the President was trying to take a wrong step by going against the Interim Constitution by making a call to the parties for the formation of government,' he said. He said that he did not see any possibility of the formation of a new government with the political parties arriving at a consensus within the deadline set by the President. A question has arisen as to what next if consensus could not be forged among all the political parties to that end, he added. The CPN-Maoist chairman said that all the political parties should be conscious to the fact that any government to be formed in the present context when the country is without a Parliament would not be considered legitimate. He said the President's step on the one hand to permit the government to continue functioning by approving the budget for eight months and to call for the formation of a new government on the other was in it perplexing. (Source: RSS/, November 24, 2012)

A congregation of Janajati leaders, who had seceded from major political parties alleging that their mother parties did not pay heed to single-identity based federalism, has officially announced a new party on November 22, 2012. The gathering of the Janajati leaders held at Khusibu in Naya Bazar on Thursday afternoon, November 22, 2012 has announced their party’s name as Federal Socialist Party-Nepal with Ashok Rai --former vice-chairman of the CPN-UML—as the chairman and Rajendra Shrestha as general secretary, said Ajambar Kangbang one of the indigenous leaders associated to Rai camp in a press statement. Federal Socialist Party-Nepal has also made its party flag and party manifesto public, along with a 98-member central level ad-hoc committee. Bijaya Subba, Durga Mani Dewang, Prem Krishna Pathak, Bir Bahadur Lama, Rakam Chemjong, Hem Raj Rai, Mohammad Ansari, Gopal Thakur are the eight vice-chairmen of the party. Dr Mangal Siddhi Manandhar has been selected as the head of central advisory committee. (Source:, November 22, 2012)

The opposition parties have claimed that new election could not be held in April-May since the government has announced it again unilaterally. "Formation of a national consensus government is a must to conduct the election in the announced time", they said, adding that only the government of national consensus could remove constitutional and legal difficulties relating to the election process. Speaking at a face-to-face program held in Kathmandu on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, leaders from the main oppositions such as NC and CPN-UML sought the resignation of Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai to ensure the new election in April-May. Besides, they accused the government of bringing budget without the consent of the opposition parties and said it was not acceptable to them. NC leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and CPN-UML leader Pradeep Gyawali were among those expressing dissatisfactions over the government's decision on the budget and new election. "The Congress has no disagreement on the content of budget, but concerns are on its process", Mahat said. Similarly, Gyawali said that the party was surprised why the President approved the budget ordinance. The approval of the budget ordinance by the President has saddened the party, he commented. (Source: RSS/, November 21, 2012)

The Supreme Court of Nepal issued a show cause notice against President Ram Baran Yadav causing delays in approvals of four ordinances forwarded by the current government. A single bench of Justice Sushila Karki asked the president, his office, prime minister’s office and Ministry of Law and Justice to furnish the clarifications in writing within 15 days.  Advocate Uddhav Prasad Chaulagai had filed a writ petition at the apex court arguing that the president had no right to hold any ordinance forwarded by the government. The petitioner had also claimed that the president has been dillydallying to approve the ordinances on technical ground. The cabinet meeting held on August 27 had decided to recommend ordinance for the formation of Disappearance, Truth and Reconciliation, Education Service (Eight amendments) Ordinance 2012, Civil Service (third amendment) Ordinance, 2012 and Nepal Health Service (fourth amendment) Ordinance, 2012. (Source:, November 21, 2012)

A meeting of NC office bearers on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 deemed the government’s unilateral announcement of budget and Constituent Assembly (CA) polls date, as UCPN-Maoist’s mere strategy to remain in government. In the meeting held at the residence of Sushil Koirala, NC leaders not only condemned government’s move but also said their attention has been drawn by President’s nod to budget sans political consensus. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s move must have shocked the opposition parties as he kept on harping on the political consensus until Monday. While parties were inching closer on the issue of national unity government formation, budget and polls, government unilaterally announced the budget, said NC vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel. Just to stick to power and continue UCPN-Maoist leadership, government lopsidedly unveiled budget and announced the CA polls for the second time for April-May, further said Poudel. (Source: THT ONLINE, November 21, 2012)

Nepal Students' Union (NSU) affiliated to the NC ordered an hour-long traffic shutdown in front of different government colleges in the valley on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 protesting the government's move of declaring the date of election and bringing budget in a unilateral manner. The NSU held the traffic shutdown from 9:00 am at different colleges including Nepal Humanities College, Exhibition Road, Patan Multiple Campus, and Kirtipur-based Tribhuvan University, among others. Spokesperson for NSU, UP Lamichhane said that they held the traffic shutdown to protest the government's latest move as it would not contribute to forging a consensus among political parties in the context that initiatives were underway to form a national consensus government to give political and constitutional outlet to the country. (Source: RSS/ November 21, 2012)

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has approved the budget ordinance forwarded by the government on Tuesday evening, November 20, 2012. President Yadav endorsed the ordinance for the use of the cash from the consolidated fund as per the article 88 (1) of the interim constitution, reads a press release issued by the president's office. As soon as President endorsed the budget, Finance Minister Barshaman Pun made the budget public at a press conference. Earlier today, Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai along with Finance Minster Barshaman Pun and Chief Secretary Lila Mani Paudel had reached Sheetal Niwas, the office of the President to submit the budget ordinance. This is the first time President has approved the ordinance submitted by the government since the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, which also used to act as a legislative Parliament. (Source: THT ONLINE, November 20, 2012)

Seeking to break the political deadlock plaguing Nepal, on November 27, 2012, Maoist chief Prachanda extended an olive branch to main opposition parties such as NC and CPN-UML asking them to choose key Cabinet posts under a proposed unity government led by his party, an offer outright rejected by them. Prachanda's offer came after a high-level meeting of the ruling Maoist party. The former Prime Minister told reporters that his party would let the two opposition parties such as NC and CPN-UML choose their ministries if they agreed to unite behind a Maoist-led government. Prachanda also claimed that factions within both the NC and CPN-UML were positive towards his proposal. Reacting to his offer, NC General Secretary Prakash Man Singh said, "There is no question of joining a Maoist-led government as the Maoist party has lost both Constitutional and moral ground to take charge of government leadership." He claimed the Maoists have tried to rule the country unilaterally, undermining both tasks of establishing peace and drafting a Constitution. CPN-UML General Secretary Shanker Pokharel also ruled out the possibility of his party joining a Maoist-led government. "There is no possibility of our party joining a Maoist- led government and we are totally against formation of such a government," he said. Pokharel also contradicted the Maoist chief's remarks that a faction of his party had shown positive gesture towards his offer of ministerial berths. (Source:, November 27, 2012)

Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda has proposed President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav to transform the incumbent Maoist-led government into a national unity government. The current government was relegated to the status of caretaker on May 29, 2012, and only last Friday, November 23, 2012 the President appealed to parties to form a unity government, which for the opposition parties could be constituted only after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai steps down. During a meeting with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav at Sheetal Niwas on Tuesday morning, November 27, 2012, Chairman Prachanda, as media reports said, sought favor from the head of state to transform the Bhattarai-led government into a consensus government. On the occasion, Chairman Prachanda, as learnt, had floated names of four leaders who could possibly be named as a possible prime ministerial candidate for the much-awaited national unity government. Chairman Prachanda said, if not Bhattarai, Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) Chief Mahanta Thakaur or DPM Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar could lead the government. Earlier on Sunday, November 25, 2012, Chairman Prachanda and Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Mohan Baidhya had decided to propose CPN-M General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister to the other parties. (Source: THT ONLINE, November 27, 2012)

Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar remarked that he wouldn’t object if NC President Sushil Koirala led the national unity government. “I will be happy to see Koirala as consensus PM,” said Gachhadar following his meeting with the NC president on Tuesday morning, November 27, 2012. “I am ready to accept the leadership of the 'altruistic and saintly' leader Koirala.” “At this critical juncture, we need a leader who is ready to display unselfish concerns for the welfare of people and nation.” As the President’s deadline to parties on unity government is inching closer, NC is busy intensifying parleys to form a national unity government under its leadership. Koirala on Tuesday had also held discussions with American Ambassador to Nepal Peter W. Bodde in the morning. During the meet, Ambassador suggested Koirala, as reported, to focus on forging consensus among political parties. Earlier, on Monday, NC President had held a parley with Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) Chief Mahanta Thakur to seek assistance for the NC-led national unity government. According to media reports, NC is likely to name its President Sushil Koirala as the PM candidate for the national unity government. (Source: THT ONLINE, November 27, 2012)

NC President Sushil Koirala, who has laid claim for consensus prime minister, today (November 27, 2012) held hectic meetings with coalition leaders and the leaders of some Madhes-based parties to garner support in his favor. The move follows as only two days left to meet the Thursday-deadline given by President Ram Baran Yadav to finalize a consensual candidate for next prime minister. Koirala had separate and one-to-one meetings with UCPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, MJF and National Madhes Socialist Party Chairman Sarat Singh Bhandari.  Maoist leader Dahal told Koirala that he would respond to him only after consulting with his party, while Madhesi leaders expressed their readiness to support Koirala if the Congress president could win Maoists’ support. “I have told Dahal (Prachanda) to support our party for the next consensus government,” Koirala said, after nearly 20-minute meeting with the UCPN-M chairman. Dahal’s aide Shiva Khakurel said, “Dahal has neither accepted Koirala’s request nor rejected it. “The Chairman said he would respond after consulting with the party leaders,” he added. Gachhadar, after the meeting with Koirala this morning, said he would be ready to support Koirala if he could win support from the UCPN-Maoist. “I will be happy to get the chance of supporting Koirala, who is honest and selfless leader.” NC sources said Gachhadar had expressed his commitment to support Koirala, if he could make the UCPN-Maoist agree. Gachhadar also urged Koirala to bring clear view on federalism and Madhesi issues for garnering support from Madhesi parties. Claiming that the parties would hold consensus in a package including the Madhesi issues, he said, “I believe, parties will forge consensus within one month.” Koirala, who had also held separate meeting with NC Vice president Ramchandra Paudel for half an hour this morning, is learnt to have requested Paudel to support him. Meanwhile, NC senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, who gave a nod to support Koirala for next premiership yesterday, today held consultation with the party’s Central Working Committee members close to him at his residence in Budhanilakantha. Koirala also held talks with Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur, Sadbhawana Party leader Rajendra Mahato and Federal Sadbhawana Party Chairman Anil Kumar Jha yesterday. (Source: HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE, November 27, 2012)

Amid demand from both the ruling and opposition parties to name the party’s prime ministerial candidate for forming a national consensus government, NC President Sushil Koirala has started holding ´quiet´ negotiations with the top leaders of various political parties, mainly with the allies of the ruling Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA). On Monday, November 26, 2012, Koirala held separate meetings with Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Chairman Mahantha Thakur, Federal Sadbhbhwana Party Chairman Anil Jha and Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato apparently to solicit their support for his candidacy for the next prime minister. The Madhesi leaders had expressed readiness to support NC´s candidate for prime minister provided that the party stood ready to ´address the issues concerning Madhes,’ said sources close to Koirala. Koirala is scheduled to meet Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (Democratic) Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and other leaders Tuesday. Party insiders say though Koirala is yet to publicly express his desire to become prime minister, he has made up his mind to propose himself for the post provided it is reasonably certain that the NC will lead the new government, which will hold CA elections. "He is now assessing whether he could win support, mainly from those in the ruling alliance," said a Central Working Committee (CWC) member close to Koirala. Koirala expedited parleys with the top leaders of various parties to solicit support in his favor as senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has been publicly saying that he does not want to be prime minister now. On Monday afternoon, Koirala reached the Deuba residence at Budhanilakantha to solicit his support. Deuba reportedly told Koirala that he was ready to step aside from the race should Koirala agreed to settle the power-sharing row that exists in the party for long and also offered him acting presidency of the party. Koirala’s move, however, has drawn strong resentment from Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel, who has long been eying the prime ministerial berth. While expressing dissatisfaction over Koirala´s recent overtures, Paudel has also ´quietly´ expedited lobbying both within and outside the party. Sources said Paudel held a meeting with Vice-Chairman of CPN-Maoist C P Gajurel on Sunday. What transpired at the meeting remains unknown? Paudel had also held meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on the same day. Leaders close to Deuba said Paudel has been repeatedly asking them to help him win Deuba´s support for making it to the prime ministerial berth. "Though unable to put his case clearly before President Koirala, Paudel appears very desperate and at times miffed with the party president," said a leader close to Deuba. Paudel, who was made to contest voting in the then parliament for 17 futile times, has been privately sharing with his close confidantes that Koirala was trying to put him in ´injustice´ by not supporting his candidacy.  Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar held an over an hour-long meeting with CPN-UML leader K P Oli at the latter’s residence in Balkot, Bhaktapur Monday. The meeting had dwelt mainly on the latest political development and formation of a new national consensus government, sources said. (Source:, November 27, 2012)

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has given seven more days for political parties to reach a deal on a government of national unity. The Head of the State extended the deadline after a two-hour-long meeting with top leaders of major political forces, who urged for such an extension on November 29, 2012. "We urged the President to grant around six-seven days," chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal said after the meeting. President Dr. Yadav had issued a formal call on the political parties to form a consensus government within seven days on Friday, November 23, 2012. The President set the deadline to form a consensus new government under the Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution. The news comes, as the ruling coalition has demanded that Dr. Baburam Bhattarai a constitutionally elected head of government should lead a unity government. Opposition parties, however, want a NC leader to lead the unity government. (Source:, November 29, 2012)

At the meeting with NC leader at his Lazimpat residence on Thursday morning, November 29, 2012, Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Prachanda told the NC vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel that the NC should not hope to get the leadership of the new government without first building a consensus on the disputed issues concerning a new constitution. Poudel one of the leaders being considered to lead a consensus government by political parties had reached the Prachand’s residence to request his support for an NC-led consensus government. Prachanda made his party's position clear following a decision made by a recent meeting of his party's office bearers that in the current circumstances both NC or CPN-UML led consensus government can't be accepted. During the meeting with Poudel, Prachanda has told Poudel that an NC-led unity government can materialize only if the NC agrees on a package deal to resolve the disputed issues seen in the constitution drafting. (Source:, November 29, 2012)

UCPN-Maoist is for transforming the current government into a consensus government. On Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at the meeting with the president, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda proposed the President to transform the current Maoist-led government into a national consensus government. On the occasion, Prachanda gave the names of four leaders for a possible prime ministerial candidate for a national unity government. if current Prime Minister Dr Bhattarai was not to lead a unity government, then Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) Chief Mahanta Thakaur or DPM Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar could lead the government. Earlier on Sunday, Prachanda and Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Mohan Baidhya had decided to propose CPN-M General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa for the post of PM. (Source:, November 29, 2012)

While Prachanda and Dr Baburam Bhattarai seemed adamant that they were not leaving the government for the NC to form a unity government rather were seeking other options, Speaking at the Reporters’ Club n Kathmandu on November 28, 2012, Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Vaidhya revealed that Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda was ready to see CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa as a consensus candidate for the office of Prime Minister. Vaidhya’s claim came the day after Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai had reached the Vaidhya’s residence, Baniyataar in Gongabu to discuss about the existing political issues including the formation of a national unity government. When Vaidhya had proposed Thapa as the most appropriate candidate for a consensus, Prachanda told Vaidhay that besides Thapa, candidates from NC, Madhesi leader Mahantha Thakur and one from civil society were also under discussion for the PM’s post. “Thapa carries the agenda of both the parties, besides he will also garner the support of disadvantaged groups,” Prachanda’s aide quoted Vaidhya as telling Prachanda in a one-on-one meeting held at the Prachanda’s Lazimpat residence. On the same day CPN-Maoist Vice-chairman CP Gajurel also said that his party would propose Thapa’s name for PM. (source:, November 28, 2012)

Speaking at the function of opening a regional hospital in Baglung on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai said that the country would face a catastrophe if the President were to cross the constitutional limits, and acted as the executive. Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai arrived Baglung to inaugurate the Dhaulagiri Regional Hospital, accused political parties of trying to incite the President. "The President’s week-long deadline on unity government exemplifies the same case," said Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai. “Political parties are provoking the head of the state to act as executive. But we need to move together. He shouldn't cross the constitutional limit," said Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai. The President would be ousted if he acted unconstitutionally treading on opposition parties’ directives,” Dr. Bhattarai said. Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai also one of the vice-chairmen of the UCPN-Maoist has reiterated that there is no alternative to Constituent Assembly polls; his party is taking necessary steps to hold the elections by April-May at any cost. (Source:, November 28, 2012)

President won’t call parties to constitute a majority-based government by amending the Interim Constitution if parties fail to come up with consensus PM, President’s office at Sheetal Niwas said on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. The life of the current government is only of a day.  But President won’t cross the constitutional limit even if parties fail to strike a consensus chord over again, said Rajendra Dahal, Press Advisor to the President Dr Ram Baran Yadav. President Yadav on Friday, November 23, 2012 had made an earnest request to political stakeholders to name a new prime ministerial candidate and constitute a new Cabinet by November 29 following the Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution, at a time when the country is devoid of Legislative–Parliament. He won’t move beyond Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution, said Dahal. “If parties themselves decided to opt for majority-based government, President won’t object. But Dr Yadav himself won’t intervene to call a majority government.” (Source: THT ONLINE, November 28, 2012)

At the meeting held on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, the office bearers and bureau in-charges of the UCPN-Maoist decided not to let Nepali Congress and CPN-UML lead an election government. They also decided that the party would focus on turning the Bhattarai-led government into a consensus one.  “The meeting decided that the party’s first priority should be making an all-out effort to invite other parties to join the incumbent government to give it the shape of a national unity government,” said party Spokesman Agni Sapkota, adding that the party also decided to let NC and UML pick the ministries of their choice. The UCPN-Maoist also decided to seek an alternative to Bhattarai from within the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance: an alliance of the ruling parties if the coalition partners refused to accept Bhattarai as the leader of a new consensus government. The UCPN-Maoist think that the party might get into serious trouble if the government leadership is turned over to the NC. Maoist leaders believe that NC and CPN-UML will never hold the Constituent Assembly election and will continue to stick to power for long as ‘they (NC, CPN-UML) enjoy the support of the President’. The Maoist leaders say ‘if that happens all the achievements made so far will go down the drain’. (Source:, November 27, 2012)

In a bid to appease the coalition partners in the government, UCPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda has tossed the idea of letting either its second-rung leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha or United Democratic Madhesi Front leader Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar or Tarai Madhes Democratic Party leader Mahantha Thakur to lead the government instead of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. The latest from Prachanda is also aimed at thwarting NC and CPN-UML plan to replace Bhattarai by keeping UDMF in the fold. NC and CPN-UML have been trying to win over UDMF, UCPN-Maoist’s major ally in the government, to get Bhattarai ousted. Prachanda on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 held discussions with Prime Minister Bhattarai and Gachhadar, separately, in relation to formation of a new consensus government. (Source:, November 27, 2012)

Senior leaders of CPN-Maoist went to the president’s office on Friday, November 30, 2012 and pleaded the head of state: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav for including them in the major-parties meting for building a consensus. “The President had called only four major political parties, and neglected us”, said spokesperson Pampha Bhusal coming out of the president’s office. (Source: THT ONLIE, November 30, 2012)

In the wake of the deepening political standoff in the country, New Delhi has dispatched a well-known Nepal hand and a senior leader of the ruling Congress (I), Karan Singh, to Kathmandu. Delhi is also all set to send another important Nepal hand, former Foreign Secretary and Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran, who arrives here next week. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Congress (I), Singh will be here for two days. He will also extend an invitation to President Ram Baran Yadav to visit India to receive the Doctorate of Letters (D Litt) to be conferred on him by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the fourth week of December. Singh will be a guest speaker at a conference marking the 150th Madan Mohan Malviya Anniversary in the Army Officers’ Club here on Friday. Malviya is the founder of the BHU. President Yadav is scheduled to open the conference. Political sources said Chairman of the Rastriya Prajantra Parry, Pashupati Sumsher Rana, is hosting a dinner in Singh’s honour at his residence on Friday, where former prime ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Jhala Nath Khanal, Surya Bahadur Thapa, Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and other senior leaders are invited. Singh is a relative of RPP chairman Rana. In 2006, Singh was in Kathmandu when Nepal’s political parties were joining hands against the now-deposed king Gyanedra Shah. Following the visit, Shah ceded the power and offered reconciliation, which ultimately paved the way for a republican set-up. The Indian side has, meanwhile, already informed top leaders of major political forces in Kathmandu about Saran’s visit. Saran, who has a reputation of landing in Kathmandu as Delhi’s troubleshooter, last visited Nepal in August 2010 when the country was locked in a political crisis, given its failure to elect a prime minister. Saran will meet President Yadav and top political leaders, including Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. (Source:, November 29, 2012)

Senior Congress leader Karan Singh's visit to Nepal at a time of a political crisis has sparked off speculation that the veteran, who is said to have played a key role in the 2006 transition, is again here on a "political mission". The senior Indian leader arrived here for a brief visit yesterday when he attended a function to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya. Later in the evening, Singh attended a dinner reception hosted by President of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Pashupati Shumsher Rana, who is also a close relative of Singh.  Top political leaders of Nepal including Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal, former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa and some royalist leaders among others attended the function. Though, Singh, the Chancellor of Benaras Hindu University, arrived here to extend an invitation to President Ram Baran Yadav, who is scheduled to visit India, political analysts here say Singh clearly has a "political mission". President Yadav is scheduled to visit India on December 25 to receive an honorary Doctorate in Letters (D Lit) degree to be conferred by BHU. However, Nepalese media is rife with speculation that Singh carried a "political message" from Indian establishment. Media reports here said Singh is also holding political consultations during his brief stay here. In 2006 when Nepal was in the grip of an anti-monarchy agitation, Singh had visited the country and held discussions with the then King Gyanendra. He is said to have played a key role in the peaceful transfer of power to political parties. His current visit comes at a time when Nepal is struggling with political crisis in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and the failure of political parties to form a government for holding fresh elections. "Speculations were rife in Kathmandu about Singh's arrival in town that he was carrying some political message", said The Himalayan Times. "Karan Singh in Nepal with political mission," read the banner headline in ‘Republica’. Singh's meetings are likely to dwell on current political situation in Nepal, ‘Republica’ speculated. Singh is also likely to meet former King Gyanendra before he flies to New Delhi tomorrow, the daily said. During his talks with political leaders of Nepal, Singh is said to have stressed the need for unity and collaboration among political parties for conducting fresh elections at the earliest. He is said to have advised the top leaders of political parties to work for consensus to resolve the current situation of political and constitutional deadlock. Singh is learnt to have stressed the need to forge collaboration and unity among all stakeholders who had signed the 12-point agreement in New Delhi in 2005. President Yadav is also hosting a dinner reception in his honor tonight at the Rastrapati Bhawan, sources said. Maoist leaders had reached the understanding with major political parties of Nepal in Delhi to launch a struggle for ending the absolute rule of the King and to restore democratic rights in the country. Singh addressing the function to mark the 150th anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya highlighted the role BHU played in strengthening India-Nepal relations. Singh also unveiled the restored 700-year-old Lok Kriti Mahavihar in Lalitpur. The historical monument has been repaired and restored to its original glory under the India-Nepal Development Partnership. On the occasion, Singh called for close cooperation between India and Nepal in promoting the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini in Nepal and places such as Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar in India as part of a Buddhist circuit for promoting tourism between the two countries. PTI (Source:, December 1, 2012)

President Ram Baran Yadav has said he is optimistic that political parties will forge a consensus on forming a unity government within the next five days. President Yadav, speaking at a program in Pokhara, said all achievements gained during the popular movements in the past would be at risk if a consensus continues to elude political parties. If political parties reach a deal soon, elections can be held in April-May, said the Head of the State adding that elections were needed to safeguard political strides taken by the country in the recent past. President Yadav on Thursday gave seven more days for political parties to reach a deal on a government of national unity. He extended the deadline after a two-hour-long meeting with top leaders of major political forces, who urged for such an extension. (Source:, December 1, 2012)

Indian Congress leader Karan Singh has said he is confident that political force will soon reach an agreement to end the political crisis. Singh arrived in Kathmandu on Friday. He said Nepal is going through a tough period in its history. Speaking at a program in the Capital, he said, " I am confident that everything will settled through an agreement among the people of Nepal," he added. Senior Congress leader Singh is a titular Maharaja of Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He is considered a well-known Nepal hand. He was also India's special envoy to Nepal during former king Gyanendra led royal regime back in 2006. Singh is to meet Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and President Ram Baran Yadav before heading home on Sunday. (Source:, December 1, 2012)

December 1, 2012

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