UML agrees to end House obstruction

Top leaders will commit to holding all types of elections before January 21

  • Jhala Nath Khanal, senior CPN-UML leader

Kathmandu, June 5

Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is all set to become prime minister for the fourth time, as the CPN-UML agreed to end House obstruction and move the process of electing a new prime minister today.

CPN-UML leaders agreed to end House obstruction in a meeting with leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre in the presence of Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar. The main-opposition party had been obstructing House proceedings to protest the Election Commission’s decision to conduct re-polling in Bharatpur’s Ward No 19.

Deuba filed his candidacy for the post of prime minister on Saturday after the president asked the Parliament to elect a new prime minister on the basis of majority. The parties that supported Deuba’s candidacy on Saturday had almost 311 lawmakers in the Parliament. Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal also issued a whip to their lawmakers to vote for Deuba.

NC leaders said chances were high that Deuba might win two-third majority in the 593-member Parliament.

Prime Minster Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned from the post honouring the gentleman’s agreement between the NC and CPN–MC.

The Parliament was supposed to elect a new prime minister yesterday but it could not do so due to threat from the main opposition CPN-UML to obstruct House proceedings. The UML had been obstructing House proceedings over the vote counting issue in Ward No 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City. The vote counting was halted in Bharatpur metropolis after some ballot papers were torn allegedly by CPN-MC representatives.

The Supreme Court today passed an order telling the Election Commission to maintain the status quo on its decision to conduct re-polling in Ward 19 of Bharatpur Metropolis.

The CPN-UML had objected to the speaker informing the Parliament about the president’s directive to elect a new prime minister based on majority through a notification but the party ironed out its differences with the ruling parties in today’s meeting.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, senior leader of CPN-UML Jhala Nath Khanal said top leaders would address the Parliament meeting expressing their commitment to hold all types of elections before January 21. CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said, “The leaders will also express their commitment to hold elections in a free and fair manner”. The House would also conduct the prime ministerial election tomorrow.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi said the speaker would inform the House about the process of electing the PM tomorrow.