KATHMANDU, Dec 18: Coming down heavily on the Nepali Congress (NC) for raising “unnecessary” disputes over the formation of the National Assembly, top leaders of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) have urged Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to step down immediately to pave the way for the formation of a new government.
Addressing a press conference organized in the capital on Sunday, UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli and Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal insisted that there is no constitutional ambiguity for the formation of parliament and election of the new prime minister. “The election of prime minister is the independent business of the House of Representatives. It has nothing to do with the National Assembly,” Oli said.
The remarks of Oli and Dahal come at a time when Prime Minister Deuba, who is also the president of NC, has maintained that he would step down only after the formation of the National Assembly. The two left parties have claimed that the statements and activities of the caretaker government led by Deuba are against the constitution, international practices, and past precedents in the country.
An ordinance regarding the formation of the National Assembly is pending at the President's Office as the parties differ as to how its members should be nominated. Deuba has publicly said that he will step down after the endorsement of the ordinance with the provision of a single transferable electoral system to elect National Assembly.
The dispute between the two sides has emerged after the NC backtracked on its original proposal to elect National Assembly members through the majority based electoral system. While the NC has now stood for the single transferable electoral system, the left alliance has rooted for the majority based electoral system, which they say was originally proposed by the NC.
Oli criticized NC for 'changing the rules after the start of the game'. “Rules cannot be changed after the start of the game. The rules should be formulated before the game begins. We accept the rules agreed before the game but do not accept those incorporated in between,” Oli further said.
The alliance has asked NC and the prime minister not to misinterpret the constitutional provisions regarding the election of new prime minister. “We urge the prime minister not to misinterpret the constitution, obstruct a smooth implementation of the new constitution and pave the way for the formation of a new government in accordance with the fresh mandate given by people in a democratic way,” the two parties said.
Senior leaders of both parties including Jhalanath Khanal, Bam Dev Gautam, Bhim Rawal, Ishwor Pokharel, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Janardan Sharma and Pampha Bhusal were present in the press conference.