Nepal Today

Friday, April 25, 2008

Koirala unlikely to resign, Maoists threaten revolt

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 26 April: Hours after the Election Commission formally announced the results of a hung parliament, Sher Bahadur Deuba gave a clear indication Friday incumbent Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala won’t quit even as Maoists gave staked a claim to lead a coalition government as the largest party in the 601-member constituent assembly.
Stormy days may be ahead if Nepali Congress sticks to Deuba’s position; the Congress central committee is debating its election debacle and the meeting resumes Monday.
“If that happens to be the NC’s official position, the people will revolt and produce a new mandate,” Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ told The Kathmandu Post.
“Maoists are only the biggest party in the constituent assembly. According to the constitution, two-thirds support of members of the CA is required to form a government; they don’t have two-third support.
“Girija Babu has brought the peace process so far leading it. Even now he should lead the government,” Deuba told a tea reception hosted by victorious Congress candidate Prakash Man Singh at his home.
Following defeat in the 10 April elections, top Congress leaders have asked the party not to join a government led by Maoists.
The internal Congress assessment could if the government is delivered to Maoists, it will be difficult to dislodge the former rebels once they are installed in Singha Durbar as a government leader since two-third majority will also be needed to oust it.
“ I don’t know. Everything should be done with understanding,” Koirala told reporters at the same reception.
“ Congress will lead the government,” Finance Minister and close Koirala aide Dr Ram Sharan Mahat also said.
Meanwhile, Indian government’s Nepal pointman Shyam Saran told CNN an all-party coalition national unity government should be formed.
Nepal’s constituent assembly won’t meet until another month.
Koirala has to convene an assembly 21 days after the Election Commission gives the government formal notification of the final election result which came Friday.
The Commission has given parties one week to name nominees under proportional representation.



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