KATHMANDU, June 2: The parliament secretariat has published the schedule for electing the new prime minister amid protests by the main opposition CPN-UML. The election will take place Sunday.
General Secretary at the parliament secretariat Manohar Bhattarai published the election schedule on Friday following instructions from Speaker Onsari Gharti.
According to the election schedule, any lawmakers wishing to contest for prime minister can register their candidacies from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday. The voting process in parliament is scheduled to start at 11 am on Sunday.
However, the main opposition UML has said that it will continue the House obstructions Sunday also if the vote counting at Bharatpur Metropolitan City is not resumed. The election process can’t begin in parliament if the UML continues its obstruction.
“We may not file any candidacy from our side for new prime minister as the election process has started with a notice issued outside the House meeting,” said CPN-UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal.
The UML has argued that the PM election date should be announced in parliament after reading out the letter from the president calling for election of the new government through majority vote. Though the speaker used to read out in the House such letters from the president, she failed to do so in this instance due to House obstructions by the UML.
“I decided to initiate the process for electing the new prime minister through the issuing of a notice because the constitution and parliamentary regulations allow us to do so,” Gharti told media Friday. She further said that she was hopeful of a political understanding between the ruling and opposition parties for electing the new prime minister in an amicable environment.
Gharti had consulted leaders from the ruling and main opposition parties prior to publish the notice. During the meeting UML had suggested not publishing the election schedule until the House obstructions ended.
But the ruling parties had urged UML not to obstruct parliament over its demand for resumption of vote counting in Bharatpur. “The vote counting issue concerns the Election Commission and not the government. UML should end its obstruction in parliament and accomplish its constitutional duty of electing the new prime minister,” said CPN (Maoist Center) lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari.
Earlier, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had to put off for a day his plans to announce his resignation in parliament after UML obstructed the House.