Nepal president calls for consensus government in a week

Kathmandu: Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav on Friday called upon all political parties in the Himalayan nation to form a national consensus government within a week.

President Yadav made the call following a request from Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who visited him at his official residence in Sheetal Niwas on Friday evening.

He issued the call after Prime Minister Koirala met the Head of the State, requesting him to begin procedures to elect the new prime minister and form a new government as per the new Constitution of Nepal.

Earlier in the day, addressing the House, Koirala announced that the process of formation of the new government had started and he had paved the way to do so.

The first session of parliament after the adoption of the constitution commenced on Friday.

In the cabinet meeting, Koirala had informed his cabinet colleagues that he would meet the Head of State and ask him to initiate the process to form a new government as per Nepal’s constitution, Minister Lal Babu Pandit told IANS on Friday.

A new prime minister is expected to be confirmed within a week if consensus is arrived at among the major political parties, or else the president will call for a majority vote to elect the prime minister.

Article 298(2) of the Nepal constitution states: “If the session of the Legislature-Parliament is ongoing at the time of commencement of this constitution, then from the date of the commencement of the constitution; and if the parliament is not in session, then from the date of the summoning of the session under Article 296 (6); within seven days the prime minister shall be elected as per the political understanding.

Likewise, Article 298(3) says, “If political understanding cannot be reached as per clause (2), the prime minister shall be elected by simple majority of the Legislature Parliament.”

“Hence, the House shall move to voting process, if the parties fail to elect a consensual prime minister within the week.”