Nepal Today

Friday, April 19, 2013

PRESIDENT MADE FOUR COUP ATTEMPTS CHARGES FORMER PM BHATTARAI Kathmandu, 20 Apeil:: Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, also the vice-chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist, today said President Ram Baran Yadav had tried to stage coups four times following the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on May 27, Arjun Bhandari writes in the Himalayan Times.. Interacting with a group of journalists at his Sanepa residence in Lalitpur, Bhattarai, who stepped down as the prime minister following the formation of an election government under Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi on March 14, said the President had tried to stage a coup for the first time on May 29, two days after the CA’s dissolution. Issuing a press statement, the President had said that the Bhattarai government was reduced to caretaker status and had asked it to remain in office till its replacement. “But we had foiled his attempt by announcing the date of fresh CA election for November 22, 2012,” Bhattarai said, adding that the government knew beforehand that the President was going to take an ‘unconstitutional step’ to overthrow his ‘legitimate government’. The government had announced the election date for November 22, half an hour before the dissolution of the CA. Bhattarai went on to say that the President tried to stage a coup for a second time on July 22 when the Bhattarai-led government forwarded three ordinances related to the second CA election to the President. But the President issued none of them, saying that there should be an all-party consensus before issuing the ordinances. Bhattarai said his Cabinet had forwarded those ordinances, keeping in mind the Election Commission’s demand that it needed at least 120 days to prepare for fresh election. The third time, according to Bhattarai, was between October 24 and November 15, when the nation was in a festive mood of Dashain and Tihar. He claimed that the President met the Nepali Army Chief Gaurav Shumshere Rana between the four weeks of October and mid-November and sought his cooperation to oust the government. “But this time also, his plan could not materialise as the army chief refused to cooperate,” Bhattarai said. The fourth time the President tried to take over was on November 23, one day after the date of fresh CA election expired, claimed Bhattarai. He said the President wanted to oust him on the pretext that the government failed to hold the election on the announced date. The President, invoking Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution, had called upon the parties to form a national consensus government within seven days. But the Bhattarai-led government termed the President’s call to form consensus government ‘an unconstitutional move’, saying that the Head of State did not have the constitutional power to issue such an order when the Parliament was not in place. The government argued that the President can issue such an order as per the recommendation of the Parliament. “After the council of ministers gave a fitting reply within a couple of days, the President’s attempt to stage a coup was foiled,” Bhattarai said. It may be recalled that then finance minister Barshaman Pun had said on record that the President tried to oust the government through a coup. Asked to comment on the former prime minister’s allegations, Rajendra Dahal, press adviser to the President, said, “He is a responsible person. It is not worth commenting on what he has to say. I will rather appreciate if I am not forced to pass any comment on it.” On former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai’s claim that President Ram Baran Yadav had sought the army’s help, between October 24 and November 15, ‘to stage a coup’, Nepali Army Spokesperson Brig Gen Suresh Sharma, who was approached by THT to comment, said he did not have any ‘knowledge about what had transpired between the President and the Chief of Army Staff’. NA, however, strictly maintains the tradition of not making any comment on any of the political statements made by politicians, whoever they may be. — Nnnn ONE BOSTON MARATHON SUSPECT ARRESTED Kathmandu, 20 April: Police said Friday they had detained a teenaged suspect in the Boston marathon bombings after a showdown at a house in the suburbs, AFP reports from Watertown,. "Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info," Boston police said on its Twitter account after 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken away to applause from people near the scene in Watertown. The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody." Boston Mayor Thomas Menino tweeted a picture with the caption: "We got him." Media reports said Tsarnaev had been hiding in a boat in the backyard of the house, after being wounded in an overnight shootout in which his brother Tamerlan, believed to have been the second bombing suspect, was fatally shot. After a series of about 15 explosions erupted, which local television channels said could have been stun grenades. Gunfire had erupted in the district only minutes after police told a press conference they believed that Tsarnaev had escaped a mass dragnet thrown over Watertown. The brothers, who are ethnic Chechens, are believed to have planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston marathon on Monday -- an attack in which three people were killed and about 180 wounded. nnnn