All-party meet fails to reach consensus


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Kathmandu, January 4

An all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba this morning to finalise the announcement of National Assembly election date, appointment of province chiefs and declaration of temporary provincial headquarters failed to reach consensus.

PM Deuba put forth a proposal to finalise these matters on the basis of political consensus in the all-party meeting held in Baluwatar, in line with his plan to decide on the aforementioned issues in a Cabinet meeting later today.

However, leaders of the left alliance (CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre) opined that there was no reason for delaying the NA election after President Bidhya Devi Bhandari authenticated the related ordinance. “We proposed that NA election be held on January 24. CPN-MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the same,” UML leader Agni Kharel, who was present in the meeting, told THT.

On appointment of province chiefs and declaration of temporary provincial headquarters, left alliance leaders said the government was free to do its job and that they had yet to see reports on the basis of which the government planned to finalise these issues. “We do not know on which issue the PM wants to forge political consensus, as we are unaware on what basis the government is planning to name temporary provincial headquarters and appoint province chiefs,” he said. “So we neither accepted nor rejected the PM’s proposal to forge a political consensus.”

PM Deuba said he would discuss the possibility of holding NA election early with the Election Commission, according to senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel, who participated in the all-party meeting.

Paudel added that since it was the EC’s job to hold NA election, the government could do nothing but request it to do so early.

Leaders of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal said it would be better to finalise all the issues on the basis of consensus. “Whatever is to be done should be done swiftly. Meeting is just a formality,” said RJP-N leader Rajendra Mahato.

The government is preparing to hold NA election on February 8 as per the recommendation of the Election Commission. It is also doing groundwork to appoint province chiefs and ready the temporary headquarters of provinces.

Appointment of provincial chiefs is crucial for holding NA election as the electoral college includes provincial assembly members who are yet to be sworn in due to the absence of province chiefs. According to the constitution, the Election Commission has to submit the final results of provincial assembly elections to province chiefs who will then administer oath of office and secrecy to provincial assembly members.

Today’s all-party meeting was attended by PM Deuba, Paudel, Shashank Koirala and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar from the NC; Subas Nembang, Agni Kharel and Bhim Rawal from the UML; Chairman Dahal, Ram Bahadur Thapa and Narayan Kaji Shrestha from the CPN-MC; and Mahanta Thakur, Rajendra Mahato and Anil Jha from RJP-N.


All-party meet discusses provincial capitals, appointment of chiefs issues

KATHMANDU: The government is set to declare the temporary capitals of provinces and hold appointment of province chiefs after carrying out homework as the left alliance leaders failed to give concrete decision on the issue.

In an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba at his official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu today, left alliance leaders urged the government to pave the way for formation of the new government, PM's press coordinator Govinda Pariyar told THT Online. The discussion on the National Assembly election was also held in the meeting.

After the meeting, Nepali Congress senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel told mediapersons that the government would assign temporary capitals of the provinces and the province chiefs after carrying out necessary homework in that connection. He added that the government would fix the date after consulting with the Election Commission.

CPN-UML Vice-Chairman Bhim Bahadur Rawal said that they drew the attention of the meeting towards the delay in handing over the government power and the announcement of the proportional representation election results of the House of Representatives being prevented in the context of new people's mandate.

"When we urged the government to take a decision on the province capitals and chiefs before the elections, they did not listen to us. We have clearly put forth our view that now the government should carry out the constitutional and legal works required for handing over the government reins expeditiously; and desist from taking decisions on matters of long-term impact, and promotion and transfer of civil servants," he said.

The UML vice-chairman accused the government of putting pressure on the Election Commission to prevent the announcement of full election results.

CPN Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said they apprised the government of the public mandate expressed through the election and that any delay from its side in handing over the power would not be tolerable to them.

Present in the meeting were Nepali Congress President and PM Deuba; NC senior leader Paudel, General Secretary Dr Shashank Koirala; CPN MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal; NC leaders Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Krishna Prasad Sitaula; UML Vice-Chairman Rawal, leaders Subas Chandra Nembang, Deputy Secretary General Bishnu Poudel and Agni Kharel; CPN-MC leaders Shrestha, Ram Bahadur Thapa; Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal leader Rajendra Shrestha; and the presidium member of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal Rajendra Mahato, among other leaders.