House meet put off till afternoon

The PM has been stubbornly disregarding the parliamentary system. He is obstructing tasks of government

— Bimalendra Nidhi, NC leader

Kathmandu, July 21

After the major parties refused to budge from their stances on debating the no-trust motion against Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli or to present the budget-related bills first, today’s meeting of the Legislature-Parliament could not take place and was postponed until 2:00pm tomorrow.

Though the House was supposed to meet at 11:00am, Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar postponed the meeting after top leaders of the major parties wanted to buy time to forge consensus on which of the two agendas should be taken first.

After the leaders stuck on their stances till 4:00pm, Gharti postponed the meeting for tomorrow by issuing a notice.

The top three leaders were engaged in talks to forge consensus throughout the day today since early morning. PM Oli called CPN-Maoist Centre’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at his residence this morning and they discussed ways to resolve the crisis.

Later Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar held separate meetings with NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-MC Chairman Dahal with their aides at her office in Singha Durbar. This was followed by a meeting of top leaders in the presence of second rung leaders of the parties in the Parliament building from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

However, the parties failed to find any solution.

After the leaders stuck on their stances, NC leader Ramchandra Paudel brought four-point middle-path proposal to resolve the crisis in a package.

According to him, the budget-related bills should be passed first, followed by Oli’s resignation, withdrawal of the no-trust motion and election of a new PM in a smooth way and supporting each other in constitution-implementation after the formation of a new government.

“On my proposal, PM Oli said the NC and the UML should withdraw the no-trust motion first after which he would discuss with his party and other coalition partners about tendering the resignation. Maoist Chairman Dahal then said the motion could not be withdrawn until the PM resigns,” Paudel told THT.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba said, “The PM has been saying that he is ready to face the no-trust motion. However, he is not letting the motion be debated. He does not want to give up power.”

CPN-MC leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara said although a proposal to resolve the issues in a package was discussed, consensus has not been forged so far. “We decided to buy time till 2:00pm tomorrow for whether there could be any solution,” Mahara said.

If solution is not found, the motion will be debated tomorrow, he said.

“The PM has been stubbornly disregarding the parliamentary system. Forming and dissolving a government is the major task of the parliament, but the PM is obstructing that,” NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi said.

UML’s Standing Committee divided

KATHMANDU: CPN-UML Standing Committee meeting held on Tuesday was sharply divided over the PM’s strategy of staying in the power even after the government was reduced to minority following the CPN-MC’s withdrawal of support to the government.

Leaders belonging to Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal factions were of the opinion that the PM’s move and stubbornness were damaging the party’s image and the PM should step down immediately, according to the party sources.

Other than a few leaders close to Oli, all expressed serious concern about the PM’s move of going against the fundamental norms of the parliamentary democracy, said an SC member.