Kathmandu, October 3
The major parties have begun consultations on forming the new government after President Ram Baran Yadav called on the parties yesterday to produce a consensus prime ministerial candidate within seven days.
CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli is expected to lead the new government as per the “gentlemen’s agreement” between Nepali Congress and CPN-UML before the Sushil Koirala-led government was formed at the time when the four parties had reached a 16-point agreement on June 8. However, it is not still clear whether the “gentlemen’s agreement” will hold and unity among the three major parties will remain intact in the changed context.
CPN-UML has clearly said its Chairman Oli will lead the new government, if this doesn’t happen the party will prefer to remain in opposition.
The Sher Bahadur Deuba-led camp of Nepali Congress has begun lobbying for Deuba to lead the next government and is preparing to raise the issue at the party’s Central Working Committee meeting. Prime Minister and NC President Sushil Koirala, however, is still silent on it.
The NC’s office bearers will meet tomorrow and the party’s CWC will meet on Monday to discuss issues, mainly government formation, according to NC leader Narahari Acharya.
Asked about the “gentlemen’s agreement” Acharya said, “Party leaders will likely put forth their views at the party’s meeting if there was any gentlemen’s agreement between the parties. Since the UML had supported NC to lead the government when the Sushil Koirala-led government was formed, it will not be unexpected if NC supports a UML-led government. However, the NC will decide after holding discussions.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal today held discussions about the current political situation and the issue of forming consensus government at the PM’s residence in Baluwatar this evening, according to Acharya.
Earlier today, UML Chairman Oli said that since there was low possibility of forming national unity government, the new government would be a majority one.
Addressing a programme of the UML’s youth wing, Oli said CPN-UML will lead the new government and the country will get a new prime minister by October 10 or 11.
Due to various factors, a national unity government is unlikely, so the new government will be a majority one, Oli said. However, even the majority government will be a government of maximum consensus, he said.
“There are understandings between us. We believe, they will be abided by,” Oli said, stating that the responsibility of nation building had fallen on the shoulders of the UML. He urged the party’s youths to take up the responsibility.
Meanwhile, senior NC leader Deuba today said that there had been no discussion till date on who should lead the next government. “If consensus government cannot be formed, a majority government will be formed through voting process,” Deuba said in response to journalists’ queries at a tea party organised by Nepal Tarun Dal, the party’s youth wing.
Asked whether there was a gentlemen’s agreement among NC, UML and Unified CPN-Maoist on supporting Oli as the next PM, Deuba said, “I don’t know about it. I have not asked Sushiljee yet.”
A version of this article appears in print on October 04, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.