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Prachanda no to Koirala as President

Nepal’s Maoist chief Prachanda says that he is not in favour of PM Girija Prasad Koirala becoming the first president of a republican Nepal, reports Anirban Roy.
Hindustan Times | By Anirban Roy, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2008 12:19 AM IST

Nepal’s Maoist chief Prachanda does not want Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as the first president of a republican Nepal. Prachanda said they did not favour the Nepali Congress’s proposal for the post of president because of Koirala's advancing years and deteriorating health.

In an interesting development, the Maoist chief also claimed that they were not opposed to amending the interim constitution to allow a simple majority to form and oust a government.

As per the provisions of the existing interim constitution, a two-thirds majority is required to form and remove a government. The Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) have been demanding the amendment.

Meanwhile, the CPN (UML) on Saturday fired the first salvo at the Nepali Congress over the appointment of the first president of republic Nepal.

Jhalanath Khanal, the general secretary of CPN (UML) has challenged the Nepali Congress to show a majority in the Constituent Assembly to claim the post of president. The Nepali Congress began demanding the president's job on Thursday after the Maoists withdrew their claims.

The CPN (UML) chief called on the Nepali Congress leaders not to be adamant in their demands. The Maoists are reportedly in favour of a non-political person to be the new head of state.

Khanal claimed that the differences over the formation of the new government would be resolved within a week as the ongoing consultations with the political parties were moving close to consensus.

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