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Maoists vs President in Nepal

Nepal government's hopes of holding early polls to elect a new Constituent Assembly has got a setback with President Ram Baran Yadav rejecting two election-related ordinances. Utpal Parashar reports.

world Updated: Aug 18, 2012 23:09 IST
Utpal Parashar

Nepal government's hopes of holding early polls to elect a new Constituent Assembly has got a setback with President Ram Baran Yadav rejecting two election-related ordinances.

The move has resulted in friction between Yadav and the Maoist-Madhesi coalition led by Baburam Bhattarai and raised doubts over the country getting a new constitution soon.

Last month, the cabinet had forwarded two ordinances to Yadav, which, if approved, would have cleared legal and constitutional hurdles to hold elections for a new CA.

But Yadav refused to endorse the ordinances, citing Election Commission's inability to hold fresh polls on November 22, the date announced by Bhattarai following CA dissolution in May.

A statement issued on Friday by the President's office stated that in view of "changed circumstances" there was "no relevance" of the two ordinances.

Since Yadav had endorsed two ordinances on anti-money laundering in June, the latest move came as a surprise to the government and has evoked sharp reactions from Bhattarai's office.

"The President doesn't have the authority to reject the ordinances recommended by the government," Bhattarai's political advisor Devendra Paudel told The Himalayan Times.

Terming Yadav's act as an attack on democratic norms, he said the government would resend them for the President's endorsement.

For Yadav, it is not the first instance of disagreement with a Maoist-led government. Maoist chairman Prachanda had resigned from the prime minister's post in 2009 after Yadav refused to approve the government's move to remove the sitting Nepal Army chief.