Nepali Congress rejects opposition demand for a new President
The Nepali Congress on Saturday rejected the opposition`s demand for fresh presidential elections in the wake of the mandate given by people in the just-concluded Constituent Assembly polls.
Kathmandu: The Nepali Congress on Saturday rejected the opposition`s demand for fresh presidential elections in the wake of the mandate given by people in the just-concluded Constituent Assembly polls.
"There is no need to elect a new President, which is contrary to the provision made by the Interim Constitution," Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala said.
He said a provision in the Interim Constitution states the current President will continue in office until the Constituent Assembly delivers a new Constitution.
"The new President cannot be elected without amending the Interim Constitution and we should not make unnecessary changes in the Interim Constitution" as our main task is to draft the new Constitution, Koirala said.
The opposition parties demanded that the Nepali Congress, which emerged as the largest party in the November 19 polls, should sort out the issue according to the fresh mandate and present a consensus proposal.
Shanker Pokharel, secretary of the CPN-UML that emerged as the second largest party, said "the election has given us a new mandate from the people and we need to settle the issue of the President as per the fresh mandate".
Even if political parties agree on re-electing incumbent President, the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly has to go through the formality of electing a President, he said.
President of the pro-monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Kamal Thapal, too demanded elections to choose a new President and Vice President.
"Both the posts of the President and the Vice President should be filled with fresh candidates as per the new mandate of the people," he told reporters yesterday.
After the first Constituent Assembly elections in 2008, Nepali Congress candidate Ram Baran Yadav won the presidential race. Soon after, Nepal was declared a republican state by abolishing the 240-year-old monarchy.
Koirala reiterated his stance that he favoured a Nepali Congress-led coalition government with the inclusion of all major parties, including the UCPN-Maoist.
"If we follow democratic tradition, the Nepali Congress should lead the next government as the people have given a mandate to form a government under the leadership of Nepali Congress," he said.
"We also want the Maoists and other political parties to join the coalition government to be formed under our leadership," Koirala said.
"My priority is to draft a Constitution rather than just forming a government," he said in response to a question.