KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday said that he would lead a national consensus government to be formed by November 21.
He also claimed that he would continue to remain at the helm until the peace and constitution process reaches a logical conclusion.
“A national consensus government led by myself would be in place by the third week of November, which will complete the peace and constitution drafting process,” Bhattarai said talking to journalists at his official residence at Baluwatar.
Bhattarai, who is also the vice-chairman of the UCPN (Maoist), argued that his success as the prime minister would be determined by the peace process and constitution writing.
“If the peace and constitution drafting process gets completed I would be a successful prime minister, otherwise not,” he said.
Bhattarai said the expansion of the cabinet, making it the largest-ever in the country’s history, was a compulsion. “I had received the name list of the ministers from the coalition partners two months back and I held it for two months, but could not do so any longer. Holding it any longer at a time when a faction within our own party wants to dissolve the government was impossible,” he said.
Bhattarai also cited the international practice that 10 percent of the parliamentarians are sent into the government and argued that the current coalition should not be termed jumbo as there are 601 members in the legislature-parliament.
He said he would also pay attention to good governance and told the journalists that he would sack any minister if he finds them involved in irregularities and embezzlement.
The prime minister also defended his cabinet decision to recommend to the president to grant a pardon to murder-convicted CA member Bal Krishan Dhungel.
“The Supreme Court (SC) has not passed its verdict on other legal cases related to the insurgency. So Dhungel’s case is different, and there is no option to recommending to the president to grant a pardon to him,” he said.
He argued that there was no one to protest when the cabinet led by Madhav Kumar Nepal decided to recommend amnesty in over a dozen criminal cases. “I am surprised that such a thing is happening in the case of Dhungel,” he said.
Published on 2011-11-15 10:01:52