Published On: December 24, 2022 11:08 AM NPT By: Tapendra Karki
KATHMANDU, Dec 24: While the largest party Nepali Congress (NC) is making internal preparations to form the government, its coalition partner, the CPN (Maoist Center), is ready to break the current ruling coalition if the party is denied the post of prime minister.
Maoist Center Chairman Dahal has maintained that there was a verbal agreement before the election that Pushpa Kamal Dahal will lead the new government for the first two and a half years. If NC refuses to implement the agreement, the alliance will be broken. "The first priority is to become the prime minister from the ruling coalition. But if the NC refuses, we will be forced to find an alternative," said a Maoist leader, quoting the Maoist Center Chairman Dahal.
According to him, there was an intensive discussion on this issue on Thursday and Friday.
Maoist Center Chairman Dahal on Thursday evening asked NC President Deuba to implement the previous verbal agreement saying that he should be given a chance to lead the first half of the term of the new government. However, the NC has not given any words to the Maoist Center till Friday.
The Maoist Center claimed that even the Madhav Nepal-led CPN (United Socialist) Party will help them out of the current power coalition. However, NC has not given up its claim that it should be given to the prime minister along with the president.
While the homework and dialogue for the formation of the government is underway, the CPN-UML has given a message that the government can be formed by cooperating with the Maoist if they leave the ruling coalition.
UML General Secretary Shankar Pokharel also said on Friday that the time has come for the leftist parties to stand together. In a program held in Surkhet, Pokharel said that the left-wing forces should unite and they are ready to discuss if the Maoists break the alliance. “Political instability and chaos are increasing in the country at present. The country needs a strong national power. The current ruling coalition has no goals. That's why the leftists should stand together," Pokharel said.
As a representative of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, NC leader Prakash Man Singh met Maoist Chairman Dahal at his residence Khumaltar on Friday morning. Singh tried to convince Dahal stating that Deuba will be the prime minister for the first half of the term and that the second half of the term would automatically be Dahal's turn. He tried to facilitate the power equation by showing Dahal the complaints filed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the problems of the conflict victims, saying that the commission would settle the cases of the victims and then make him the prime minister. However, Dahal was not ready to give up his position.
Singh asked to implement the previous verbal agreement and demanded Maoist Center withdraw its claim to form a new government under its leadership.
Singh tried to convince Dahal to agree by saying that since NC is the largest party, a positive message will be sent when the government is formed under the leadership of the party. Earlier, NC Senior Vice President Purna Bahadur Khadka had also hinted that Dahal can be made Prime Minister only after resolving the issue of conflict victims.
Prime Minister Deuba, Maoist Chairman Dahal and Unified Socialist Chairman Nepal had a serious discussion on government formation on Friday evening as well. Nepal participated in the swearing-in ceremony of the post of MP on Thursday with the permission of the doctor as he was staying in the hospital for health treatment. He also participated in the discussion of Baluwatar on Friday.
Although it is said that Nepal has been trying to get both the NC and Maoists to reconcile, confusion remains as to who will become the prime minister at the beginning of the five-year term, as Deuba and Dahal have not left their positions.
Maoist senior Vice Chairman Narayankaji Shrestha, Deputy General Secretary Pun and other leaders are in favor of forming a leftist alliance if the NC does not cooperate.
The UML leader is also conveying the message that the party is ready to discuss all kinds of options if the Maoist leaves the alliance. The UML leader has given a message that his party will cooperate with the Maoists by giving them the prime minister while they will take the president and the speaker.
“Maoist Chairman Dahal has tried to confuse the UML by advancing the matter on both sides. We have told Dahal to take a decision soon or else we will unconditionally support the NC government,” said a UML leader. UML leaders Subash Nemwang, Raghubir Mahaseth and others met Dahal and expressed the opinion of UML. The seven-day period given by the President for the formation of a new government after the elections of the House of Representatives and the Provincial Assembly will end on Sunday.
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