Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba should brace for a stormy session of the Parliament as the main opposition CPN-UML is preparing to raise the issue of ordinance that amended the Political Party Act, facilitating dissidents of the CPN-UML and Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal to split their parties.

UML Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader Subas Chandra Nembang said the way the government acted in the last few weeks proved that it had brought the ordinance mainly to split his party. After the ordinance lowered the threshold for splitting parties from 40 per cent support both in the Central Committee and the Parliamentary Party to 20 per cent support either in the Central Committee or the Parliamentary Party, dissidents of UML led by Madhav Kumar Nepal-Jhalanath Khanal split the mother party and formed a new party – CPN(Unified Socialist). Similarly, the Mahantha Thakur-Rajendra Mahato faction of the JSP-N also split the party and formed the Democratic Socialist Party-Nepal.

Nembang said the government had brought the ordinance one day after it abruptly prorogued the session of the Parliament. Now, it has called the new session of the Parliament just a day after the process of splitting the parties is over.

As per the provisions of the ordinance, local and provincial representatives of the UML and JSP-N have until September 7 to choose between the mother parties and the new parties. Another UML lawmaker Khagaraj Adhikari said the Deuba government violated the constitution by abruptly ending the Parliament session and issuing an ordinance the next day with the motive of splitting his party. He said the government had committed a crime against the constitution by facilitating splits in the parties.

"We are seriously reviewing the government's move and we will raise all these issues in the Parliament. We will carry the sentiments of the public," Adhikari said.

Chief Whip of CPN-Maoist Centre Dev Prasad Gurung said that the UML was hinting it would stall parliamentary proceedings, but if it did that, it would be against the current political system. "We may or may not like the current political situation, but we must abide by the system unless we change the system for the better," he said and added that if the UML chose to stall House proceedings, that could lead to president's rule, which could ultimately invite foreign military intervention in Nepal in the garb of assistance.

If the UML is guided by national interest, it should not do anything against the current political system,"

Gurung argued. He said if the UML had any grudge against the ordinance that amended the Political Party Act, it should try to rectify it through constitutional and parliamentary means.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 6 2021, of The Himalayan Times.