Nepal’s former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai has accused President Ram Baran Yadav of trying to stage a coup not once but four times in the past 12 months.
The Maoist vice-chairman, who headed the Maoist-Madhesi coalition during that period, claimed the government was aware of
the attempts and thwarted them successfully.
“The President tried to stage a coup four times between May and November last year,” Bhattarai told a select group of journalists on Friday.
There is no official reaction yet from the president’s office but Yadav’s media advisor Rajendra Dahal has dismissed the allegations as baseless.
Bhattarai claims Yadav tried to overthrow his “legitimate government” through an “unconstitutional step” on May 29 when the country’s Constituent Assembly was about to be dissolved.
“But we foiled his attempt by announcing November 22 as the date to elect a fresh Constituent Assembly,” he said.
The second alleged coup attempt was in July when Yadav refused to endorse three election-related ordinances forwarded by Bhattarai’s government and instead sought political consensus on them.
Bhattarai said the third attempt was made between October and November when Yadav allegedly sought Nepal Army’s cooperation to remove the caretaker government.
“This attempt also failed as the army chief refused to cooperate,” he said.
The last attempt was allegedly made on November 23, a day after the Bhattarai government failed to hold fresh election on the date announced by him prior to CA dissolution.
Invoking provisions of the interim constitution Yadav had given parties seven days to form a national unity government comprising all parties to resolve the constitutional and political crisis.
Bhattarai claims this attempt was foiled as the president didn’t have any authority to issue such an order in absence of an elected parliament.
Refuting all allegations Yadav’s media advisor stated that the truth about the alleged coups will come out soon.
“The caretaker Bhattarai government tried to prolong stay in power by issuing ordinances. And since the president couldn’t remain a mute spectator he sought political consensus on them,” said Dahal.
Since Saturday is a weekly holiday in Nepal, an official statement from the president’s office on the allegations is expected on Sunday.
Bhattarai handed over reins of government last month to an interim election council headed by the country’s chief justice as a way out of the 10-month long constitutional and political crisis.