Khanal rules out total consensus for CA elections


KATHMANDU: Chairman of CPN UML Jhalnath Khanal has asserted that forging consensus among political parties on all outstanding issues for holding Constituent Assembly elections is not possible.

Khanal’s, who is also the Chairman of the High Level Steering Committee, statement comes at a time when some political parties including the CPN Maoist, have denied to take part in the purported CA elections in November later this year.

Speaking to journalists delegation led by Reporters Club Nepal’s president Rishi Dhamala at his own residence in the capital on Saturday morning, Khanal hinted at moving ahead with plans to hold CA elections even if the CPN Maoist and other dissenting parties don’t participate in the elections.

” Complete consensus in diverse multi-party settings, where every political party has different ideology, is not possible,” Khanal said adding that in such a context “understanding reached between political parties with majority of the vote bank should be taken as national consensus.”

Reiterating that CA elections was the only way out to end ongoing political transition in the nation, Khanal however expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s performance towards making preparations for the elections.
” The government seems to be skidding away from its sole objective of holding CA elections and we are holding talks with the Chairman of the Interim Election Council on Sunday,” Khanal said while expressing optimism that the meeting will help in fostering mutual understanding between political parties and the government. He however denied to comment on the government’s efforts to hold CA elections stating that it was too early to comment on the issue.

He informed that the government will announce the date for CA elections as soon as the four major political parties reach consensus on all outstanding issues and added that a date from the government could be expected within some days.

Khanal said that consensus and cooperation between four major parties is imperative for holding CA elections while accusing the UCPN Maoist and the Madheshi Morcha of time and again deviating from past understandings and agreements.

On the occasion Khanal ruled out the possibility of scraping the 11-point and 25-point understanding reached between political parties while stressing on the need to make the high level political mechanism more comprehensive.

On the occasion, Club’s president Rishi Dhamala elaborated on the initiative to call on political parties and stakeholders to forge consensus and hold CA elections while handing over similar memorandum to Khanal. He urged political parties to move ahead by bringing all political parties into confidence and hold CA elections in a conducive environment.