14 other parties may join Maoist-NC coalition govt

Published On: July 26, 2016 02:10 AM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

Madhesh-based parties set conditions
KATHMANDU, July 26: Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) that are set to form a new government under the leadership of Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal are likely to be joined by 14 other political parties in the new coalition.

According to interlocutors involved in talks between the NC and the Maoist Center, an understanding has already been reached to include the 11 political parties that supported the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on July 13 while it was being registered.

Likewise, three other political parties--Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic (MPRF-D), Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Samajbadi Janata Party--who withdrew their support to the government later, are also likely to be included in the new coalition.

With one ruling party after another pulling out of the government and losing majority in Parliament, PM Oli decided to step down from the post on Sunday.

According to the party leaders involved in NC-Maoist discussions, 21 political parties and one independent lawmaker have so far shown their support to the NC-Maoist alliance, taking the number of MPs supporting the coalition to 370.

Leaders of the NC and the Maoist Center claimed that they needn't solicit support from more parties for garnering majority in Parliament to form a new government. They, however, conceded that it was going to be tough for them to manage the aspirations for ministerial berths in the new government.

Although President Bidyadevi Bhandari has called on the political parties represented in Parliament to form a consensus government within seven days starting Monday, it is almost impossible to form such government for now.

  “As the president initiated the process for forming a new government today [Monday], we will utilize this period for internal discussions and negotiations with other political parties from Tuesday,” said NC leader Ramesh Lekhak, adding that there is no chance of forming a consensus government due to sharp polarization among major political parties.

 Maoist leader Janardan Sharma said that the party has entrusted arty chairman Dahal, who is also candidate for prime minister, to negotiate with other political parties and select coalition partners.

  “We will start negotiations with agitating parties under the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) from Tuesday. Talks will also be held with other political parties, who want to join the next government,” said Sharma.

According to leaders, the NC and the Maoists have intensified their negotiations over sharing ministerial portfolios and the two parties have reached an agreement on two key portfolios so far. As per the understanding, finance ministry will go to the Maoists while NC will lead home ministry.

UDMF, FA set conditions for joining new govt
Madhes-based political parties allied to the UDMF and the Federal Alliance (FA) that includes parties from the UDMF and other small Madhesh-based political parties have set conditions for joining the to-be-formed Dahal-headed government.

They have said that the NC and Maoists have to commit themselves about the tasks they can do immediately after forming the government, the decisions to be taken from the cabinet and those issues to be addressed by making amendments to the constitution.

“We will join the government only after they commit to take these initiatives in aforementioned three stages. Otherwise, we won't even vote for the prime ministerial candidate,” said Shivaji Yadav, chief whip of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal.

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