Deuba intensifies consultations

January 3, 2018 06:30 AM Republica

Calls meeting of all national parties for Thursday 

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: Prime Minister and Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba has intensified political consultations with the top leaders of four other national political parties to resolve the ongoing political deadlock over the formation of National Assembly. 

Prime Minister Deuba called a meeting with the top leaders of all national political parties -- CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center), Rastriya Janata Party Nepal and Federal Socialist Party Nepal -- for 9 am, Thursday, according to his press advisor Govinda Pariyar. Prior to this decision, Deuba held a meeting with Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at his official residence in Baluwatar on Tuesday evening.

The meeting of the parties represented in the House of Representatives has three agenda for discussion including settling the date for the National Assembly election, an appointment of provincial governors and declaration of temporary capital cities of each of the seven provinces. "The prime minister has taken the initiative in view of resolving the ongoing political deadlock," Pariyar said. The prime minister is mulling January 9 for National Assembly election and the date will be finalized after consultations with other parties on Thursday meeting.

The issues of appointing provincial governors and fixing temporary capitals have also been equally contentious issues among the major parties. While the UML-led alliance has warned the government against making any decision on the issues, the ruling NC has maintained that formation of National Assembly is a must to form the House of Representatives. Also, the NC has said that appointment of provincial governors and declaration of provincial capitals are also necessary to break the current logjam.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Deuba had called a meeting of the party's current and former office bearers to discuss the National Assembly poll date. This came after the Election Commission (EC) asked the prime minister to announce the date for the upper house amid calls by the UML and the Maoist Center not to make any further delay in announcing the results of parliamentary elections under the proportional representation (PR) system. The EC had maintained that formation of the National Assembly is a must before announcing the PR results. 

During the meeting, NC leaders had suggested to Deuba to start political consultations with the national parties to resolve the ongoing political deadlock, according to NC leader Bal Krishna Khand. Deuba had also invited Maoist Center Chairman Dahal at his official residence on Tuesday evening.

Khand said NC is firm in its stance that formation of National Assembly is a must before the results of the PR seats of parliament can be announced. "The appointment of the provincial governor is also necessary as there is a constitutional provision that EC has to submit the result of provincial assembly polls to the governors of the concerned provincial governor"," he said. NC has also been maintaining that declaration of temporary provincial capital is also equally necessary to convene the first meeting of the provincial assembly.

NC to stay in opposition

During the meeting of the party's office bearers, all leaders had suggested to the party leadership not to make any overtures to form a government on its own or extend support to other parties to form a new government. 

The suggestion came amid a section of NC leaders making statements in public that NC was ready to extend support to Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to form the new government.

During the meeting, NC President Deuba announced that he would call the party's central working committee meeting anytime soon. He also announced to call the party's Mahasamiti meeting to discuss the party's future course of action in view of the humiliating defeat.

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