Nepal: In U-turn, Maoists term President’s move ‘unconstitutional’

The ruling coalition, led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists), went back on their ealier stand and said President Ram Baran Yadav's call for formation of a consensus-backed government was "unconstitutional" and should be withdrawn.

A meeting of the ruling coalition decided that the President's act was unconstitutional, and he has "transgressed the limits set by the interim constitution". The stance, taken by the coalition partners on Saturday morning, was contradictory to the favourable response made on Friday.

After an emergency meeting of the UCPN-M central secretariat Saturday, the party said the move was unconstitutional and warned that it will be compelled to take the streets if caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai was replaced. But the party made it clear it will support the President if Bhattarai's government was transformed into a "national unity" one.

A pro-Maoist advocate of the Supreme court, Raman Shrestha, went to the extent of telling the President that collapse of the interim constitution would risk his status as head of the state.

The UCPN-M had welcomed the Presidential move Friday , but mysteriously changed it Saturday and said what Yadav did was technically and constitutionally flawed. "By intimating his decision to the chief secretary, he bypassed the council of ministers. He should have addressed the letter to the PM," party spokesperson Agni Sapkota said.

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