Nepal CPN-UML calls for presidential elections

December 05, 2013 10:59 pm | Updated May 26, 2016 09:56 am IST - KATHMANDU:

The CPN-UML on Thursday hardened its stance on power-sharing by formally demanding an election to the posts of the President and Vice-President.

A meeting of the Standing Committee said the new mandate from the recently held Constituent Assembly election should be respected.

“We have been raising this issue [of re-election to the President] right since the election results were known,” CPN-UML’s Bam Dev Gautam told media persons after the meeting. “We have reiterated this stance.”

The Nepali Congress has been saying the President’s term was not negotiable since the Interim Constitution did not allow it.

“We will not accept it,” Minendra Rijal of NC told The Hindu .

Asked whether the controversy over the top two ceremonial posts would become an obstacle to NC-UML partnership, he said there are many issues like Constitution-drafting that would bring them together.

The CPN-UML leaders said the posts of the President and the Prime Minister should be split between the two largest parties in the new Constituent Assembly. The NC has emerged as the largest party with 196 seats and the UML second with 175 seats after the results of the 575 seats were decided under direct and proportional representation electoral systems.

Besides the UML, the UCPN (Maoist) and the pro-monarchy RPP (Nepal) have also demanded election for the posts. The NC, on the other hand, has cited a constitutional provision which says the President would step down after the Constitution is promulgated.

Nepal Army on Thursday refuted the UCPN (Maoist) claim of its involvement in tampering with ballot boxes saying it had performed its duty honestly.

Four Madhesi parties on Thursday announced that they had decided to merge into a single party.

Attributing the causes of their defeat to lack of unification, cooperation and alliance, the Madhesi leaders made up their mind to stay united. The parties also demanded investigation into “election fraud”.

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