Nepal’s political parties divided over president’s term

    By IANS,

    Kathmandu : The term of the Nepalese president and vice president has emerged as a major dispute among political parties after the Nov 19 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections.

    The parties are divided on the constitutional provisions on the tenure of the head of the government, who was elected in 2008 by the first CA which was dissolved in May, 2012, Xinhua reported.

    The interim constitution provides for the president to serve till a new constitution is promulgated.

    “The term of office of the president shall be until the commencement of the continuation of the constitution to be promulgated by the Constituent Assembly,” says Article 36 (C) of Interim Constitution 2007. The constitution is, however, silent on the tenure of the vice president.

    Some political parties want President Ram Baran Yadav to continue, while others say the new CA should elect a head of state.

    The Nepali Congress, which emerged as the largest party in the CA election, is in favour of the Yadav continuing, saying his tenure should run till a new constitution is promulgated.

    Yadav was a senior leader of the Nepali Congress before becoming head of state.

    Some leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML), which secured second position in the election, have also proposed a re-election but no official decisions has yet been taken.

    Meanwhile, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist), which has emerged as the third largest party, has proposed the president be re-elected.

    “In the present context, the new president and prime minister should be elected by the house,” UCPN-Maoist leader Harlibol Gajurel said.

    Nepal adopted the presidential system after overthrowing the 240-year-old monarchy in 2008. Yadav is the country’s first president and continued in office even though the government collapsed last year.