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Lawyers tell Koirala he need not quit as PM

Under pressure from the Maoists and Communist Party of Nepal (UML) to quit without delay, Nepal's Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Sunday consulted legal experts on how he should respond.

world Updated: Jun 23, 2008 02:35 IST
Anirban Roy

Under pressure from the Maoists and Communist Party of Nepal (UML) to quit without delay, Nepal's Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Sunday consulted legal experts on how he should respond.

The Maoists and CPN (UML) want Koirala out of the way as soon as possible so as to pave the way for the formation of the new government.

The lawyers he met included Harihar Dahal, Sher Bahadur KC, Ram Kumar Shrestha, Radheshyam Adhkari and Upendra Keshari Neupane, all of them closely allied to the Nepali Congress, sources in the PMO told Hindustan Times on Sunday.

The sources maintained that the experts have advised the octogenarian leader not to resign. They said there was no constitutional obligation for him to quit.

Apart from being the head of government (Prime Minister) during the interim period, Koirala has also been officiating as head of state. The legal experts advised Koirala not to resign till a new president of Nepal had been elected, the officials said.

Even two-and-half months of the election of the Constituent Assembly, political parties are yet to resolve many contentious issues before the new government can be sworn in. The legal advice Koirala has received, is bound to provoke the Maoists and the CPN (UML) complicating the situation further.

The Maoists who emerged as the largest political party in the Constituent Assembly, have already threatened a massive protest if Koirala does not create the ground for formation of the new government immediately.

Legal experts also advised Koirala to ensure the provision for including the Opposition leader in the Constitutional Council and Security Council so that it could strengthen the democratic process in the country, Nepali Congress sources said.

The Maoists have already quit the interim government demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, accusing him of hindering the formation of a new government.