Ameet Dhakal

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in a statement has urged the political parties to begin consultations for the formation of government.

The statement said, “As the interim Constitution has a provision for a new government based on political consensus, I urge [the parties] to take initiative and start consultation towards that end. According to the Constitution, the next major agenda before us is implementation of republic, so it’s our responsibility.”

The statement comes amid a growing debate on who should lead the coalition. Maoists have already staked claim to lead the government being the largest party in the Constituent Assembly. But some Nepali Congress leaders, including the former Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, have argued publicly that the NC should lead the government. Mr. Koirala’s statement markedly remained silent on who should lead the coalition. There is, however, a growing voice within major parties and among the civil society that the Maoists should be given a chance.

Meanwhile, intra-party discussions are taking place on the political course. The Maoists and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) began their central committee meeting on Monday, while the NC resumed its central working committee meeting after a break of three days. The fringe parties have also begun discussions.

The leaders are also busy in behind-the-scene consultations about the formation of government. One idea that is gaining currency in these meetings is an amendment to the interim constitution to add a clause for a change of government by simple majority. Currently, it requires two-thirds majority to change the Prime Minister.