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PM caretaker: Prez

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
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Three days after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, President Ram Baran Yadav has hinted that Baburam Bhattarai is a caretaker prime minister, and has cautioned him not to go about it alone.

In a very carefully worded statement, the President has used diplomatic language to suggest that he had a greater responsibility in the absence of the Constituent Assembly. He thanked the members of the cabinet, hinting that their role was now over after the constituent assembly and parliament were dissolved.

The president has asked the prime minister not to try to go about it alone until elections, announced for November 22, and has said that as a caretaker government it should only implement day-to-day decisions. The statement also suggests that the president’s office will be forced to be more active if Bhattarai tries to rule by himself.

Later in the evening on Tuesday, the president also met members of the NC, UML and other parties who have been calling for Bhattarai to step down immediately. He asked them to try to work together with the Maoists, suggesting that they should form a government of national consensus.

The prime minister’s adviser, Devendra Poudel, played down the president’s statement in an interview with BBC Nepali. “This is normal for the president to take this role in a situation when the CA has ceased to exist,” he said, “and we have always said we want to work with a new all-party government.”

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