Kathmandu, July 25 (IANS) President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday called on the political parties of Nepal to elect within a week a new Prime Minister based on political consensus and form a cabinet, a day after Prime Minister K.P. Oli stepped down.
Earlier, the President ordered to remove the constitutional impediment in the formation of a new government as per the recommendation made by the outgoing Cabinet on Sunday.
In a press statement on Monday evening, President Bhandari called on the parties to form a consensus government within a week in accordance with Article 298 (2) of Nepal’s recently promulgated Constitution.
Prior to this, she held consultations with top leaders of the three major political parties — Prime Minister and Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist Chairman K.P. Sharma Oli, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
The Oli-led cabinet on Sunday recommended to the President to remove the hurdles in formation of a new government by invoking Article 305 of the Constitution as there was no provision to elect a new Prime Minister after the incumbent Prime Minister’s resignation in the transition.
In her meeting with the political party leaders, according to the President’s aide, Bhandari stressed on consensus among the parties and asked them to move ahead in the spirit of cooperation and compromise.
She said the biggest political risk lies in holding elections to the local, provincial and state levels and urged the political parties to invest maximum energy to implement the new Constitution.
Though the President made a call, it is unlikely that Nepal will get the a new Prime Minister within the seven days.
If parties fail to form such a government within seven days, parliament will start the process of electing the new Prime Minister on the basis of majority votes.
It is sure that Dahal will be the next Prime Minister and has already received the majority votes from the largest, Nepali Congress, Madhes-based parties and others.
(Anil Giri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)