UML set to take up issue with PM

Kathmandu

Jul 23, 2014-

Dissatisfied with the delay in re-endorsing incumbent President and Vice-president by the Constituent Assembly as agreed earlier, the ruling CPN-UML is preparing to take up the issue with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

Informed UML sources said newly-elected party Chairman KP Sharma Oli will discuss the issue with the prime minister immediately after his return from Singapore and will also float the proposal at Parliament.

Oli, who is currently in Singapore for his health check up, has already warned of walking out of the government if the Congress remains adamant to re-endorse the current head of the state and his deputy. PM Koirala returned home from the US on Tuesday, after more than a month.

“Re-endorsement of President and Vice-president is our party’s bottom line. So, the party chief will take up this issue with the prime minister immediately after he returns,” said the party’s Secretary Pradeep Gyawali.

Before electing Congress President Koirala to the prime ministerial post, two major political parties had signed a seven-point deal in February, agreeing to endorse sitting President Ram Baran Yadav and Vice-president Parmananda Jha by Parliament for a fresh mandate. The provision to re-endorse the head of state and his deputy is yet to be materialised.

“The implementation of the agreement will strengthen the foundations of coalition government,” said Gyawali.

The first CA in 2008 had elected President Yadav and Vice-president Jha for two years. The CA, which was initially mandated to complete the constitution writing process within two years, failed to accomplish the given task despite getting an additional two years. It was ultimately dissolved without promulgating the new constitution, leading to the dissolution of the elected government. But the President and Vice-president retained their post.

The Interim Constitution had no provision to elect new President and Vice-president unless the new constitution is promulgated. Therefore, the UML and the Congress reached an agreement in writing to re-endorse President and Vice-president by the new CA. In the agreement, both the parties have also agreed to complete the remaining task of constitution-writing process within a year after forming the new government and hold a new presidential election.

The delay in implementing the seven-point agreement primarily in re-endorsing the President and Vice-president has put the UML in a fix. Even party leaders are in favour of continuing the support to Koirala government for the sake of completing of constitution writing process within a year as agreed earlier. However, some leaders harbour doubts over the agreement being materialised.

The newly-elected leadership has set the functioning of government, parliament and the CA task as its top agendas for the party’s first Central Committee meeting scheduled for August 10.

Party’s Vice-chairperson Bhim Rawal said the meeting will come up with a conclusion on how to move ahead in the context of slow progress in the constitution writing process and delay in implementing the agreement signed between the parties.

Published: 24-07-2014 08:52

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