June 4, 2017 03:23 PM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
Next meeting on Tuesday
KATHMANDU, June 4: The process to elect Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the new prime minister has been affected due to the ongoing House obstruction by the main opposition party, CPN-UML, over the Bharatpur vote count row.
A plan to elect Deuba as new prime minister in parliament on Sunday was affected as the UML continued with House obstruction demanding that the stalled vote counting be resumed in Ward 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City. The protest comes in the wake of the Election Commission (EC) deciding to hold re-poll in the ward after two Maoist Center cadres tore 90 ballot papers while vote counting was underway at midnight on May 28.
The UML has maintained that the Maoist cadres, who were arrested and subsequently released on bail, had deliberately torn the ballot paper, fearing that their mayoral candidate Renu Dahal will lose the election. The UML has announced to protests against the decision both in the House and in the streets and even challenge the decision in the apex court.
Following the UML's obstruction, the House meeting scheduled for 11 was deferred for 3 pm. The House meeting was adjourned for Tuesday after a meeting of top leaders of major political parties held at 2 pm turned out to be fruitless, with the UML insisting on resumption of vote counting in Bharatpur.
Talking to media persons after the postponement of the parliament meeting, NC leader Ramesh Lekhak said the House meeting was deferred till Tuesday due to UML obstruction. “It is totally wrong on the part of the UML to obstruct parliament. The UML has created confusion especially ahead of the second phase of local poll,” said Lekhak.
Lekhak argued that the House meeting should have been postponed only after holding its meeting on Sunday.
UML's Deputy Parliamentary Party leader Subas Nembang, however, defended the obstruction, alleging that the ruling parties themselves were responsible for the situation. He alleged tha the ruling parties had pressured the EC to go for re-poll in Bharatpur ward 19.
Nembang said that the meeting was put off till Tuesday after their negotiations on Sunday failed to yield any results. “We hope to reach consensus by Tuesday after holding discussions at various levels,” he further said.