Nepali Congress proposes Koirala as first president

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Kathmandu, Jun 7: The towering figure of Nepal's politics and a lifelong friend of India, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has been proposed as the first president of Nepal, General Secretary of Nepali Congress, Dr Ram Baran Yadav said.

''Koirala has brought the country to this point, successfully leading the democratic movement and completing the task of turning the country into a federal democratic republic,'' Yadav said. ''Therefore, let's show him respect and make him president of this country,'' the General Secretary of the Nepal's biggest and oldest party said while speaking at an interaction here. Nepali Congress opposed the proposal of Maoists to appoint the first president from the civil society-- people who are not involved in politics.

''It should be a leader from a political party and we can thus maintain a balance of power among the major political parties,'' Yadav is quoted as saying in Kantipur.

However, the Maoists, who used to praise Koirala for his role to bring down the rule of Gyanendra, unite the political parties and lead the democratic movement of Nepal, oppose Koirala as the first president.

''Koirala cannot be accepted as president as he is in active politics and does not want just a ceremonial role. He wants to exercise the power to mobilise the military in an emergency and other executive powers,'' Maoist leader Dev Gurung said.

Gurung was of the view that no political leader actively working for a particular party can be deemed fit for head of the state at present as the parties are in a state of 'cold war'.

Other major parties including the CPN, UML and RPP also say that the post of president should be filled from the political leaders, not from civil society.

Maoists fear that even if Koiral becomes president, the executive prime minister will also be in shadow.

Nepali Congress and UML have said first the constitution should be amended making the provision from two-third majority to simple majority, then other issues including the president can be discussed.

Maoists are against the amendment and favour to choose of the president from the civil society.

UNI

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