Nepal President calls on parties to form majority government

KATHMANDU, Feb 3:A day after the expiry of the deadline for forming a consensus government, President Ram Baran Yadav today called on Nepal’s political parties to initiate the process of establishing a majority government.
The office of the President, in a statement sent to the Legislative Parliament, asked parties to begin the process in line with Article 38(2) of the Interim Constitution.
Yadav did not give any timeframe for forming the majority government.
The deadline set by the President for setting up a consensus government ended yesterday with political parties unable to reach agreement on a candidate for the post of Prime Minister.
As the deadline under Article 38(1) of the Interim Constitution had passed, it became necessary to issue the notice for forming a majority government, the President said in the statement.
Nepal went to the polls on November 19 to choose a new Constituent Assembly that will draft a new Constitution aimed at ending years of political unrest.
Despite multiple rounds of talks in the past two months, political parties were unable to forge consensus.
The Nepali Congress emerged the largest party in the 601-member Constituent Assembly by securing 194 seats. However, it cannot form government on its own without the support of other parties.
After electing party president Sushil Koirala as its Parliamentary Party leader, the Nepali Congress held consultations with other parties, including CPN-UML, the second largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the Unified CPN-Maoist, the third largest party, and Madhesi parties.
The CPN-UML had asked the Nepali Congress to come up with a clear roadmap for power-sharing before any agreement on forming the government.
It has also been pressing for elections for the posts of President and Vice President, saying people had given a fresh mandate to political parties through the Constituent Assembly polls. (PTI)