KATHMANDU, Feb 6: At a time when the incumbent President Bidya Devi Bhandari has intensified political lobbying for a second term, senior CPN-UML leader Jhalnath Khanal has spoken against repeating the same person in the top state position.
Talking to journalists at Tribhuvan International Airport upon his arrival from Iran on Tuesday, former Prime Minister and former Chairman of the UML Khanal said that no one should be repeated in major state posts.
“I won't turn down the party's request for the responsibility (of president) if the party asks me. I am ready to accept any responsibility given by the party,” Khanal said responding to journalists' question about his interest in the presidential post. “It will be better for not to repeat anyone in major state posts,” he reiterated.
CPN-UML which has emerged as the largest political force in the parliamentary, provincial and local elections held last year is likely to elect one of its top leaders to the post of president next month. Veteran party leader Khanal is among the aspirants for the post from the UML.
The Act on the Election of the President and Vice President has provisioned that the election of the president should be held within a month of the formation of the federal parliament. The federal parliament will get full shape next week after the election to the National Assembly.
With the election of the next president inching closer, aspirants for the post have intensified lobbying in their favor. President Bidya Bhandari invited CPN-UML Chairman K P Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal for a lunch meeting on Saturday for the second time in a month. Earlier, she had invited Oli's and Dahal's families for separate dinner meetings last month. Khanal, who represents the rival faction in the party has been also eying the post with the backing of some influential party leaders.
The left alliance comprising the UML and the Maoist Center has been working to finalize top state posts in the new government including president, vice president, prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker. UML is likely to nominate its candidates for the posts of president and prime minister.