Maoists and UML divide over president name again

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Kathmandu, Jun 28: The Maoists and the UML have failed to reach a consensus over the nomination of President of Nepal after Maoists rejected UML's former General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal for the post. Maoists, who formed an alliance with the UML to form a government, have again proposed the name of Ram Raja Prasad Singh for the post of ceremonial first president while UML rejected it saying it had the right to choose its candidate for the post.

''We can't agree to Madhav Kumar Nepal's name as the first president,'' senior Maoist leader Mohan Baidya said, adding, ''We may agree on (UML leader) Sahana Pradhan in the end if there is no consensus on an independent figure.'' The two parties had agreed to share power, excluding Nepali Congress, after the Maoists did not support the name of Nepali Congress president and former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.

Maoists had declared they wanted a non-partisan person as President and have urged the UML to support Singh for Singh. Madhesi parties have also supported Singh, who had advocated for Republic for many years.

Mr Singh stayed in India for many years after he was accused of bomb blasts in various parts of Kathmandu, including the then parliament Singhdurbar and Hotel Annapurna nearly 23 years ago.

The UML was divided over the alliance with the Maoists as the senior leader of the party and former prime minister K P Sharma Oli had said the alliance with Maoists would be dangerous for the country.

He said being the second largest party in the CA, the Nepali Congress should get the post of President.

Electing president is the first priority as the resignation of Mr Koirala would be accepted only by the President and the process of forming government would be started.

Maoists denied opposing Koirala for nothing except his age and health condition, Maoists said. If Koirala becomes president then there will be two power centres, said leader of the Maoists.

UNI

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