Nepal five major parties demand PM resignation

Kathmandu: Nepal`s five major political parties, including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, have demanded Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai`s resignation, saying his unilateral move to hold fresh election was "unconstitutional".

"The Prime Minister`s unilateral move to conduct fresh election by allowing to dissolve the most representative Constituent Assembly was aimed at capturing power and this has created frustration in the minds of the general public," said a joint statement issued by five parties.

"It has ended the politics of consensus and created a situation in which people`s democratic rights are suppressed," said the statement signed by NC vice chairman Ramchandra Poudyal, CPN-UML President Jhala Nath Khanal, Rastriya Janata Party leader, president of Madhesi Peoples` Rights Forum Nepal Upendra Yadav and leader of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic Sharad Singh Bhandari.

The leaders have demanded Prime Minister Bhattarai`s resignation to help create an atmosphere of consensus and to find a way out of the present political crisis.

They issued the statement Sunday mid-night after holding consultation with President Ram Baran Yadav, shortly after the Prime Minister recommended fresh election.

Last night Prime Minister Bhattarai held an emergency cabinet meeting and recommended to President to dissolve the Constituent Assembly.

Immediately after the meeting the Prime Minister went to the Rastrapati Bhawan and conveyed the decision of the cabinet recommending for the fresh election date of November 22.

"We have no other option but to go back to the people and elect a new assembly to write the constitution," Bhattarai said in his announcement broadcast live over television.

"We had completed the army integration process by taking a big risk and tried to forge consensus but the peace and the constitution drafting process could not move forward," the prime minister claimed.

He indirectly blamed the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML for "not cooperating with the government`s move to draft the constitution based on the principle of federal structure" and justified his step to announce the CA elections.

The prime minister also claimed that all the executive powers now rest upon himself and the cabinet headed by him and the present government itself will hold the election.

Nepali Congress leader Poudyal, however, said the "Prime Minister`s move was unconstitutional" and demanded a national unity government to hold election "as one who is not a member of the Parliament cannot hold the post of the prime minister."

According to senior CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal, the prime minister`s move was breach of constitutional provision as there was no provision in the Interim Constitution to hold another Constituent Assembly polls.

"The prime minister should have made attempt to amend the provision of the constitution before announcing the fresh election by forging consensus," he pointed out.

"We are not opposed to going to the poll but we cannot endorse the prime minister`s unilateral move that violates the constitutional provision," he told PTI.

Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Nepal Pariwar Dal, Rastriya Janata Party have also withdrawn support to the government as soon as Bhattarai made announcement for the fresh polls.

Meanwhile, President Yadav is understood to have been engaged in holding legal consultation.

There is public holiday in Nepal today as the country is observing Republic Day. Nepal`s Parliament had in an historic move abolished monarchy on May 28, 2008.