Ending daylong speculation about his resignation, Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has made a fresh appeal for consensus to resolve the country’s ongoing political crisis.
Addressing the nation on Thursday evening, Bhattarai blamed opposition parties for lack of cooperation and reiterated his willingness to make all kinds of sacrifices to resolve the present logjam.
“This government was never an obstacle for consensus and will never be in future. We are ready to leave government for consensus,” he stressed while reading out from a prepared text.
Flanked by deputy prime ministers Bijay Gachchadar and Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Bhattarai listed achievements of his 15-month old government and urged opposition parties to agree on formation of a national unity government and holding of fresh election by April next year.
Bhattarai’s address comes on the seventh anniversary of signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord between Maoists and the Nepal government that ended the 10-year-long civil war.
It is also the date of election announced by the present government prior to dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May. On Tuesday, the government had postponed polls till mid-April next year.
Prior to the address there was speculation that Bhattarai would bow down to opposition demands and announce his resignation for failing to hold elections within the date earlier announced.
Bhattarai’s address comes at a time when there is renewed friction between the Maoist-Madhesi government and opposition parties on issues ranging from budget, elections and formation of a national unity government.
Nepal has been witnessing political crisis following dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May without a new constitution.
Opposition parties have refused to take part in fresh polls till Bhattarai resigns and make way for formation of a new government comprising all parties.