May 26, 2017 01:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, May 26: As the race for a new prime minister commenced Thursday with President Bidya Devi Bhandari's formal call to form a new government, uncertainty remains on whether the country will get a new prime minister before the second phase of local elections or not.
A day after accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, President Bhandari on Thursday called on political parties to form a national consensus government within a week.
If parties fail to form a national consensus government within a week, the parliament will initiate majority process to form the new government.
But renewed obstruction of parliamentary proceedings by the main opposition UML has cast fresh doubt that the country would get new head of government before the second phase of local elections scheduled for June 14.
Though UML allowed President Bhandari to unveil the annual plans and policies of the government in the parliament, it had subsequently resorted to obstruction.
"We decided to briefly resume the parliament to show due respect to the honorable president and allow her to unveil the annul plans and policies. The obstruction was aimed at barring the government from bringing populist plans and policies ahead of the elections," UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal told Republica.
Dhakal said that UML was ready to resume House proceeding if the minimum concerns of the main opposition party are addressed. He, however, did not clarify what those concerns were. He also did not specify how long would the obstruction last.
The governing parties fear that the fresh obstruction may be a design to prevent the NC from taking helm of the government before the elections. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba is almost confirmed to replace PM Dahal as the country's 40th prime minister. In a statement issued on Thursday, Deuba expressed hopes that his party would take the reign of the government before the polls.
UML does not appear happy with the change in guard of the government before the elections. On Wednesday, the party had described the resignation of PM Dahal as unfortunate. But Dhakal refuted those allegations saying that his party was ready to allow House session once their concerns are met.
"We have no intention to prevent the formation of a new government. In fact, our party would also take part in the prime ministerial race," said Dhakal.