Nepal: Sujata Koirala for national consensus government

Deputy PM Sujata Koirala has asked parties to abandon power-centred politics.

Updated: Jul 23, 2010, 15:58 PM IST

Kathmandu: As Nepal`s Parliament votes again to elect a new prime minister, Deputy PM Sujata Koirala asked parties to abandon `power-centred politics` but insisted that her party, the NC, should lead a consensus government as it took a lead role in initiating the peace process.

The Nepali Congress leader, who is also the foreign minister, said that political parties should focus attempts to form a government of national consensus.

She said `power-centred politics` should be abandoned in order to complete the task of drafting the constitution and to conclude the peace process.

"There is still need for consensus, cooperation and unity among the political parties in order to complete the task of drafting the constitution and taking the peace process to its logical end," she told reporters today.

She said given the fact that the Nepali Congress has taken the lead role in initiating the peace process and the country`s transition to a republic, the party should lead a national consensus government in order to complete the peace process and to draft the Constitution.

She also asked the Maoists to fulfil their past commitments including managing their combatants, dissolving the paramilitary organisation the Young Communist League and return the seized property to the people.

Koirala said the nascent democracy will be weakened if parties fight for power.

The Constituent Assembly had failed to elect a prime minister on Wednesday, with both Maoist chief Prachanda and Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Podyel falling short of a simple majority. The CA is set to vote again for electing a prime minister today.

Koirala also announced that she will contest for the post of general secretary during the general convention of the party scheduled for next month.

She also said the process of awarding the contract to supply Machine Readable Passport should be transparent. "If there is any irregularity in awarding the contract to the French company Oberthur Technologies, that has bagged the contract as per the lowest bid, experts should re-evaluate it," she said, in the backdrop of a controversy over the awarding of the contract to print and supply MRPs.

The Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament has sought clarification from the Foreign Ministry over the issue of the passport contract, expressing concern that some security features had been diluted in the process. The contract was earlier awarded to an Indian firm but was later scrapped.