Published On: December 25, 2022 08:15 AM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
Leaders to meet again today to finalize the deal
KATHMANDU, Dec 25: Top leaders of the ruling coalition —Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center) and CPN (Unified Socialist)—have claimed that they have reached closer to a power-sharing agreement.
Talking to media persons after the meeting held at the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar on Saturday evening, NC leader and Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that the issue regarding who should lead the government will be resolved through negotiations, although the NC has demanded that they should be given chance to lead the new government for the first two years.
Sources said NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba, Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal have agreed to lead the government on rotation basis with an arrangement to lead the government for two years each by the NC and the Maoist Center and the remaining one year by the Unified Socialist. However, there has not been any agreement yet on who shall lead the government first.
NC leader Ram Hari Khatiwada said the NC has demanded that the party should get to lead the government for the first two years after the formation of a new government. “Top leaders of three parties are meeting again on Sunday morning to finalize the deal. The NC has made it clear that the Maoist Center and Unified Socialist decide themselves who will then lead the government,” he said.
As per the understanding reached so far, the NC will have a president of its choice and also lead the government for the first two years, while the Maoist Center will get the post of the speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the government leadership for the next two years. Negotiations on the post of vice president and deputy speaker and chairman of the National Assembly are still underway.
Although the NC leaders are confident that the Maoist Center won’t severe ties with the NC to form another alliance with the CPN-UML, a section of Maoist Center leaders argue that there is still a possibility to forge an alliance with the UML to form a new government if the NC denied them the government leadership for the first two years.
During the meeting with NC President and Prime Minister Deuba at the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar on Saturday, Maoist Center leader Barsha Man Pun had warned that the alliance of NC and the Maoist Center would come to an end right after the NC denies government leadership to the Maoist Center. He had argued that since the NC had already led the government for more than one and half years after the reinstatement of parliament, the Maoist Center should get a chance to lead the government first.
However, NC has maintained that it would be logical to give NC the leadership of the new government as the largest party in parliament before handing over the government leadership to the Maoist Center. “We have agreed to share the post of president and speaker of the House of Representatives. But we are yet to settle the issue on who should get to lead the new government. We will hold further discussions on this issue tomorrow [Sunday],” said a senior NC leader.
The seven-day deadline given by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to stake claim for the government is expiring at 5 pm on Sunday. The ruling alliance is expected to stake claim for the new government leadership within the deadline after finalizing the power-sharing deal.
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