October 5, 2017 07:05 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Oct 5: The newly-formed alliance of left political parties has decided not to engage in any game of government change until the upcoming elections for parliament and the provincial assemblies take place.
Leaders of CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center) have said that they don’t want a government change until a new parliament is elected.
“This alliance is not aimed at forming a new government and is not against the present government. Our focus now is on forming a majority government after winning most seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections,” said UML deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Nembang.
Though the alliance of the UML, Maoist Center and Naya Shakti Party Nepal is now close to a majority in parliament, they don’t have time to form a new government as this parliament is going to be dissolved from October 21 as per the relevant constitutional provision.
The new constitution has stated that the term of the existing parliament will expire a day before candidates file their nominations for the parliament elections. The Election Commission has scheduled the nominations for October 22.
The UML has said that any move toward changing the existing government would affect the upcoming elections and the constitution implementation process. “With the election code of conduct already in force, the government can’t be changed and even the prime minister can’t change any ministry for this duration,” Nembang said.
The Maoist Center also has said that the government can’t be changed with the nominations for the new parliamentary elections just three weeks away. “We won’t quit the government as we don’t have any complaints over the government leadership. We are against changing the government now as the elections have already been announced and are just a month away,” said Maoist Center Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.
A senior UML leader said they don’t want to engage in any activity that might be construed as aimed at changing the present government as such a move “might give Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba an excuse to postpone the elections, which we don’t want to see happen”.
Given the existing power sharing arrangement over key state positions, it won’t be easy for the prime minister to make any unilateral move. For instance, he may face objections in his cabinet if he wants to take any decision without the consent of the Maoist Center. In some cases the president, the speaker or the chief election commissioner can hinder the prime minister from taking any decision unilaterally.
Even without forming a new government the left alliance will still have a hold over key state positions. The home and foreign ministries are led by the Maoist party, the speaker and vice president were also elected from that party and the chief election commissioner was nominated under the Maoist quota. The president was elected from the CPN-UML. “Our alliance will lead the home ministry, which is a key ministry during elections. So there is no need for us to go into the government,” said one UML leader.