Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Friday appealed to UCPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda to cooperate in forging consensus among the warring political parties over the drafting of a new constitution.
Koirala, who met Prachanda at his residence, said he told the Maoist leader "to cooperate with the government in promulgating a democratic constitution."
He called on Prachanda to forge consensus "so as to institutionalise the achievements of the past democratic movements as people want lasting peace and stability in the country."
The government is ready to hold talks with the opposition to reach a consensus among all parties, Koirala said while inaugurating a hospital in Kathmandu.
"If we can manage the arms through dialogue and negotiations (to end the civil war), why can not we promulgate the new constitution in the same manner," Koirala asked.
He stressed that a new constitution will not only fulfil the 60-year-old dream of the people but it will also pave the way for economic prosperity and development of Nepal by utilising the vast natural resources at our disposal.
The ruling and opposition alliances are sharply divided on key issues to be included in the new constitution including federal structure and forms of governance. Opposition parties also demand ethnic identity-based federal structure.
CPN-UML chairman KP Sharma Oli, who was present at the event alongside Koirala, said people want a constitution which helps maintain territorial integrity and communal harmony.
"We will try to forge consensus with the opposition to draft a constitution but if it is not possible to forge consensus then we will promulgate the constitution through two-third majority votes as per the provision of interim constitution," said Oli.
The ruling alliance has the two-third majority in the 601-member parliament they that need to approve a constitution without the opposition's support.
Oli also said the Maoist-led opposition is threatening to launch an agitation but people will not join their stir aimed at obstructing the drafting of constitution.