Heated exchange between PM, Oli

Kathmandu, October 1

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli had a heated exchange today during three-party meeting over the constitutional and government formation issues.

According to a source privy to the meeting, the three parties’ talks team was trying to prepare a proposal that could be tabled on the negotiating table with the protesting parties, but Oli said the priority was to discuss formation of new government and how they could form a national unity government.

Nepali Congress negotiator Mahesh Acharya retorted by saying formation of new government would be guided by constitutional provisions.

Acharya explained the constitutional provisions, stating that the President would first call the political parties to form a new government on the basis of political understanding and if that did not happen, he could call parties to form a majoritarian government.

According to the source, the PM then told Oli not to doubt his intention (of resigning from the PM’s post). Oli told the PM that he did not doubt his intention, but there were certain issues that needed to be discussed about the government formation.

According to the source, PM then told Oli that since three major parties had publicly expressed their commitment to ensuring proportional inclusion in the social justice clause of the new constitution and population as the major basis for the delineation of election constituencies, the proposal to amend the constitution should be moved in the first meeting of the transformed Parliament.

According to the source, this infuriated Oli, who then questioned the PM why he wanted to do that in the first meeting. “If this does not happen then, I will not tender my resignation tomorrow,” the source quoted PM Koirala as telling Oli.

CPN-UML Secretariat Secretary Krishna Gopal Shrestha told THT that his party took the sacking of UML Minister Radha Gyawali today by the PM as a ploy to block Oli from becoming the new prime minister. He said if the PM did not tender his resignation tomorrow, his party would recall UML ministers and move a no-trust motion against the government.