Dispute over National Assembly election likely to delay new govt
December 19, 2017 07:15 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Dec 18: The formation of the government is likely to be delayed further as the dispute over ordinance concerning the formation of the National Assembly continues between the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and the left alliance comprising mainly of CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center).
Although the central committee meeting of the Maoist Center held on Monday decided to find solution to the dispute through negotiation among the parties, there has not been any dialogue between the NC and the left alliance. The NC has maintained that it won't budge from its stance to ensure single transferable voting system to elect members of the National Assembly.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's press advisor Gobinda Pariyar said that the UML and the Maoist Center have not approached the NC for negotiations yet. “This is a non-negotiable issue for the NC. What the government has done is fully in line with the provisions in the constitution,” he said, refuting allegations that the government had changed rules of game.
The NC has maintained that single transferable electoral system in the election of the National Assembly members is not only important to ensure proportionate inclusion of people from different groups in the National Assembly but also to ensure representation of opposition parties in the upper house that serves as a watchdog of the government.
During his meeting with President Bidya Devi Bhandari as well as UML and Maoist Center leaders, Deuba clarified that he would step down as the prime minister only after the formation of the National Assembly. An ordinance concerning the formation of the National Assembly that includes the provision of single transferable electoral system is pending at the President's Office, as President Bhandari has taken stance to authenticate it only after there is consensus among the political parties on the issue.
UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli has publicly alleged that the NC had tried to change the rules of the game after the party sensed imminent defeat in the recently held polls based on the results of the local level elections. He maintained that the constitution does not recognize single transferable electoral system for the National Assembly.