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Koirala’s name as first President mooted

Prerana Marasini

— Photo: AFP

Prime Minister Girja Prasad Koirala in this recent photo.

KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress leaders on Saturday proposed that Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala should become the first President of the nation. However, some parties, especially the Maoists and the Madesi Janadhikar Forum, opposed the proposal.

Claiming Mr. Koirala’s contribution to the Nepali politics was immense, Nepali Congress general secretary Ram Baran Yadav said Mr. Koirala should be the first President. Mr. Yadav said it was Mr. Koirala who helped establish Nepal as a republic.

Another party leader and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula endorsed the idea. On Saturday, he met Maoist Chairman Prachanda to formally request him to support the proposal.

However, Mr. Prachanda and Chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Upendra Yadav said they would not accept the proposal.

Mr. Prachanda opposed the idea on the grounds of Mr. Koirala’s age and deteriorating health. Mr. Upendra Yadav also expressed similar views.

Mr. Koirala is 84 and is suffering from respiratory disease.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Congress has expressed its concern over media reports that say Mr. Koirala’s health is deteriorating. Issuing a press statement on Saturday, it clarified that the doctors treating him said that his wealth was satisfactory.

Constitution amendment

The main party that was opposing the proposed provision of a simple majority to form and dissolve government, the Maoists, has shown flexibility to amend it. Mr. Prachanda said the party had no problems amending it.

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