KATHMANDU, June 5: The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has objected to the remarks by Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal who recently said that he intends to introduce executive presidential system by amending the constitution.
NC Vice President Bimalendra Nidhi said that such a remark from a senior leader of the ruling NCP has substantiated apprehensions that the leftist alliance wants to establish a totalitarian system in the country.
“Of course, a section of leaders within NC also rooted for a directly-elected president. But there was no consensus on the issue during constitution drafting process. This is an attempt to scrap the current federal democratic constitution through two-thirds majority,” said Nidhi.
Addressing a press conference in Pokhara on Monday, Chairman Dahal said all the parties that have become a part of the government are in favor of a directly-elected executive president. Arguing that their focus now is on a directly-elected executive president, Dahal said they are preparing to announce a directly-elected executive presidential system through constitution amendment before the next election.
NC Vice President Nidhi said such an attempt on the part of the ruling parties will put the current federal democratic constitution itself in jeopardy. “If this is what they are preparing to do, this gives an indication that the leftist parties are bent on introducing a totalitarian system in the country,” he further said.
The ruling NCP alone has 174 seats in the 275-member parliament. With the inclusion of the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) that has 16 seats in parliament into the cabinet on Friday, the KP Oli government now commands a two-thirds majority in parliament. This arithmetic allows the government to take any decision, including amending the constitution.
There are apprehensions already whether the ruling party will move toward a dictatorial system, as the NCP is also preparing to bring Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) that has 17 seats in parliament also on board the government. “We will safeguard the republic. There is no possibility of going toward autocracy. I want all Nepali people to rest assured about this,” said Dahal, apparently to allay such concerns.