June 2, 2017 12:10 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, June 2: Nepali Congress (NC) has expedited negotiations with various parties to form a majority-based government after its efforts to form consensus government under its leadership failed to materialize.
The NC has expedited inter-party negotiations to form the government under the leadership of its president, Sher Bahadur Deuba, with support from CPN (Maoist Center) and Nepal Loktantrik Party. Negotiations are also underway to include the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and various other fringe parties in the government, according to Deuba's personal aide Keshab Raj Joshi.
The one-week deadline given by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to form a consensus government expired Wednesday. Earlier, the main opposition party, CPN-UML, had boycotted the all-party meeting called by NC on Monday to solicit support for NC-led consensus government.
If everything goes as planned and the UML lifts its ongoing House obstruction over Bharatpur vote counting row, Deuba will be sworn-in as prime minister on Tuesday. “Deuba plans to form a small cabinet for now. More ministers will be included as the negotiations with other parties continue,” said a leader close to Deuba.
Deuba is personally making efforts to secure support of as many parties as possible to his government. Although a number of parties have promised to support him, Deuba's efforts to bring the agitating Madhes-based parties on board the government is less likely to materialize this time, according to leaders involved in negotiations.
The process to form a new government began last week after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal tendered his resignation in line with an informal understanding reached with the NC to hand over the government leadership. The two parties are currently holding negotiations to finalize ministerial portfolios as the number of political parties participating in the Deuba-led government is likely to be more than those in the Dahal-led government.
Sources said NC and the Maoist Center are currently in negotiation to allow Bimalendra Nidhi and Krishna Bahadur Mahara to continue as home minister and finance minister in the new government until the conclusion of the second phase of the local election scheduled for June 28. Leaders of the two parties said change of ministers in these two key ministries could affect the second phase of the local election.