Kathmandu, June 20 : Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has offered to step down if the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) asked him to do so and said Nepali Congress (NC) was ready to take up the role of main opposition.
Speaking during a meeting of the seven parties at his Baluwatar residence on Thursday evening, Koirala said he was ready to step down. "The Nepali Congress will fully involve itself in the constitution-making process," Nepalews quoted Koirala as saying. But the five fringe parties want the alliance to continue the politics of consensus till they reach a package agreement on key issues. The CPN (ML), the People's Front Nepal, the Nepal Workers and the Peasants Party and Nepal Sadbhawana Party also said the prime minister should remain in the post until a political settlement is reached.
The two larger parties including the Maoists and the Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) however did not react to the prime minister's offer.
During the meeting the Maoists backed by the UML proposed that the issue of presidential candidate should be settled through the Constituent Assembly (CA) following an amendment to the constitution.
CPN-UML general secretary C.P Mainali said the five political parties argued that there would be a new polarization in politics if the current consensus broke down.
"Power should be shared among major political parties as per the people's mandate," Mainali said, added that "People have given a mandate to the Maoists to take the first choice while Nepali Congress and UML are left to pick up the second and third choices respectively among the President, the Prime Minister and the Chair of the Constituent Assembly."
He also charged that UML was playing the politics of opportunism. Being the third largest political party UML shouldn't have tried to take a chance for the post of president.
Since five of the seven political parties held their stance to settle all key issues --amendment to constitution, implementation of peace agreement and power sharing-- in a package, the protracted meeting failed to reach consensus.