Parties start consultations for consensus government

Kathmandu: Parties have started discussions on the formation of a new consensus-based government as per the Article 298 (2) of the Constitution of Nepal following the resignation from his post by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'. PM Dahal resigned on May 24 as per the understanding his party, the CPN (Maoist Centre) reached with the Nepali Congress at the time of the formation of the incumbent government that they would take turns in heading the government after nine months. The top leaders of all the political parties representing in the Legislature-Parliament held discussions in this connection today during a meeting convened by the Nepali Congress, the largest party in the Legislature-Parliament. The meeting was held at the Parliament Building, New Baneshwar. However, the main opposition party, CPN (UML), was not present in the meeting. Following the resignation by PM Dahal, President Bidya Devi Bhandari on May 25 called on the political parties represented in the Legislature-Parliament to elect the Prime Minister and constitute a Council of Ministers under that person's leadership on consensus basis within seven days. Exiting from the meeting after its conclusion, Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Centre) chairman Dahal said that the NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba called the meeting on behalf his party in its capacity as the largest party in Parliament. He said the objective of the meeting was not met as the main opposition party CPN (UML) stayed away. PM Dahal said he suggested the NC president Deuba to call another meeting with the agenda of forging national consensus in a way the leaders of the main opposition party would also be present. NC president Deuba while emerging out of the meeting, in brief remarks, said the next government to be formed will be based on consensus as far as possible and if not a majority-based one. NC chief whip Chinkaji Shrestha shared they will focus on consensus government with maximum efforts. He said that the meeting was called to forge consensus to form a new government under the NC as it was the largest party and a deal with Maoist Centre was held for the same in the past as well. Similarly, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chief  Whip Shivaji Yadav said that they had suggested to include a main opposition UML in this mission assuring that they will not be hindrance  to form consensus government. Rastriya Janata Party Nepal leader Laxman Lal Karna shared that they will not support any party unconditionally regarding to form a new government adding that erstwhile government also failed to implement the agreement. Present in the meeting were the representatives from the NC, Maoist Centre,  Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum, Nepal Loktantrik Forum, Rastriya Janata Party, CPN (ML), Nepal workers and Peasants Party, CPN (United) Tharuhat Tarai Party Nepal,  Rastriya Janamukti Party, Nepal Pariwar Dal, Akhanda Nepal Party,  Samajbadi Janata Party among others.