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‘Koirala not acceptable as head of state’

Nepal’s Maoists make it clear that they would not accept Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as head of the state, writes Anirban Roy.
Hindustan Times | By Anirban Roy, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON MAY 26, 2008 01:33 AM IST

Nepal’s Maoists on Sunday made it clear that they would not accept Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as head of the state.

Senior Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa said the Maoists would lead the next government as per the people’s mandate and would thwart any attempt by other political forces to block them.

“We cannot allow him (Koirala) to be the next head of the state as people have voted in our favour. People would like us to lead the government and be head the state,” said Thapa.

The Nepali Congress leaders are for Koirala as the first president of Nepal and have made it a pre-condition to join the government. After the removal of the constitutional monarch, Prime Minister Koirala has also been acting as the head of the state.

Thapa’s statement has come at a time when the meeting of the three major parties — Maoists, Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) — on Sunday concluded without reaching any agreement. The parties failed to reach a consensus after the Nepali Congress and the CPN (UML) adhered to their demands to amend the interim constitution.

The CPN (UML) and the Nepali Congress have been demanding amendment to the interim constitution on removal of prime minister by two-third majority and are in favour of simple majority.

With just three days left for the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly (CA), the appointment of 26 members to be nominated by the cabinet has also become uncertain now. The first sitting of the CA is scheduled to be held on May 28.

“The Maoists would come up with a basis of consensus at Monday’s meeting,” said senior Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi.

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