Maoist Center decides to forge national consensus on new president

Published On: February 5, 2023 08:00 AM NPT By: Kosh Raj Koirala  | @KoshRKoirala

The party also decides to forge alliance with like-minded parties in case no consensus

KATHMANDU, Feb 5: The ruling CPN (Maoist Center) has decided to seek national consensus or forge alliance with like-minded parties on presidential candidates.

A Standing Committee (SC) meeting of the Maoist Center held at the party’s headquarters in Parisdanda on Saturday took a decision to this effect, after holding detailed discussion on the upcoming presidential election. Although the Maoist Center earlier had reached an informal understanding to elect UML candidate as president, most of the Maoist Center leaders have stood opposed to the idea in view of the fact that there will be concentration of major state powers with the UML.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, the Maoist Center leader Debendra Poudel said they have decided to make maximum efforts to forge national consensus on a new president. 

“If that does not happen, we will forge alliance with the like-minded parties in terms of ideology, objectives and our thinking for the presidential election,” said Poudel.

Leader Poudel said that they are open to negotiation with all the parties in parliament since all parties had voted in favor of Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the trust vote in parliament. “There will be elections to president and vice president within the next two months. We will then hold the party’s central committee meeting and take a decision on the future course of the party,” he told media persons. “We are open to negotiation with all the parties. Since all parties have extended support to the prime minister, it is certainly a positive thing to push for national consensus.”

The decision of Maoist Center to forge national consensus on presidential candidates comes in the wake of Nepali Congress (NC) leaders warning in public that the election of a candidate selected by the UML is tantamount to inviting yet another political disaster. There are concerns within a section of political parties that the election of UML candidate as president means excessive concentration of state powers with the UML, thereby dissolution of parliament as in the previous term of parliament.

Earlier on Thursday, Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) had warned of quitting the government if the party is not given home ministry within two days. Asked if the meeting dwelt on the demand of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) to give them the home ministry portfolio, the Maoist Center leaders said that there was no discussion on the issue.

“There was no discussion on the home ministry. We will begin things afresh. It does not mean that we want to alienate the UML. Our intention is to take all parties together,” Poudel said. “The prime minister has asked for some time. We will see what they [RSP) do.”

Earlier in the morning, UML Chairman K P Oli had reached the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar to hold a meeting with Dahal on the issue of home ministry. Sources said there was no agreement to give home ministry to RSP anytime soon, even as Oli insisted for the same to Prime Minister Dahal. 

Prime Minister Dahal has said that discussions with the RSP are underway and that the issue will be resolved. Sources within the Maoist Center said they are in discussions with the RSP to swap another ministry as a section of people have raised the issue of conflict of interests as RSP President Rabi Lamichhane, who earlier held home ministry, faces a court case on the passport case. Discussions are underway whether to give the RSP the Ministry of Physical Infrastructures and Transport Management. 


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