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Nepal's major opposition willing to consider CJ government if current PM out
Publication Date : 15-02-2013
The major opposition, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML), has decided to endorse sitting Chief Justice (CJ) Khil Raj Regmi as the head of the executive in Nepal to hold elections in May, if that means the present-day PM Baburam Bhattarai will be pushed out of the picture.
Informed sources said the party leadership within the UML has made up its mind to approve the proposal floated by the UCPN (Maoist) to provide a way out of the long-standing political deadlock and ensure timely polls, despite reservations. A Central Committee (CC) meeting has been called for Friday where UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal will float the proposal.
A meeting of the party’s Standing Committee (SC), the decision-making body of the party, held on Thursday, agreed to accept a CJ-led government upon realising that they had no alternative since their key-partner, the Nepali Congress (NC), had informally approved of the idea. The party’s SC meeting, held after consultations with other political parties and President Ram Baran Yadav in the morning, concluded that the Bhattarai government will continue for as long as the opposition parties are ready to compromise.
In Thursday’s meeting, both UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel and senior leader KP Sharma Oli, who had strongly opposed the CJ-led government earlier, also seemed convinced in accepting the CJ as the new PM after Chairman Khanal elaborated on the domestic and international complexities and future prospects.
The UML believes that replacing the Bhattarai government through street protests will be a tough job. However, Bhattarai’s continued stay in the government, according to UML leaders, further weakens the constituencies of the opposition parties. UML leaders said they are forced to accept the CJ despite reservations, as they could face allegations of going against the polls if they refused the idea.
Meanwhile, President Ram Baran Yadav on Thursday continued talks with top leaders of the four major parties in a bid to bring them together on the formation of a new government.
In the talks, top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist), NC, UML inched closer to consensus on making the chief justice the interim government head.