Nepal | July 16, 2020

New coalition govt by mid-Jan

Rewati Sapkota
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Kathmandu, December 12

The left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre will form the new government by mid-January under Article 76(2) of the Constitution.

Since the two major constituents of the alliance have prioritised government formation rather than party unification, they have to follow Article 76(2) of the Constitution which provisions coalition government.

The article provisions that in case no party has a clear majority in the House of Representatives, the president shall appoint as the prime minister a member of the Parliament who commands majority support of two or more parties represented in the Parliament.

PR vote-count
CPN-UML  2,089,861
NC 2,006,160
CPN-MC 802,150
FSF-N 267,539
RJP-N 204,900
RPP 139,931
Bibeksheel Sajha 134,831
Naya Shakti 58,113
RPP-D 45,542
RJM 35,483
Others 204,245
Total 5,988,755

If the parties decide to merge before the formation of the government, they will have to follow Article 76(1) of the Constitution which provisions government formation by a single party that can prove majority (138 seats in the Parliament).

Senior CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said leaders of the two parties had agreed to form the new government by mid-January and pursue merger afterwards.

Left alliance will hold discussion with the Parliament Secretariat and the Election Commission on formation of the new government. The new government will be formed before the election for the National Assembly, the upper house of the Parliament, according to Shrestha.

“Unification of the parties before government formation would have been ideal, but it is impractical to do so. We’ll form the government first and unite the parties later,” Shrestha told THT.

According to Shrestha, before the parties unite they need to draft the merged party’s ideology document and finalise party structure and organisation. He added that all that was quite time consuming.

Alliance leaders have said that Oli will lead the new government, but it is an issue to be decided by the Party Unity Coordination Committee, which has yet to convene a meeting on the issue.

“We acknowledge that both the chairmen are major leaders, but we have not yet formally decided who will lead the government and who will head the party. We will discuss the issue after the two top leaders arrive in Kathmandu from their constituencies,” said Shrestha.

UML leader Bishnu Rimal said the Party Unification Coordination Committee would meet this week. “The meeting will decide the modality of unification and formation of the new government,” Rimal told THT. “We have to decide several issues within a short period of time. But the issues related to party unification and government formation will be discussed simultaneously.”

Oli and Dahal were scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu today, but they decided to stay in their constituencies for a few more days to thank their voters.

According to Dahal’s personal secretary Jokha Bahadur Mahara, Oli will arrive in the Capital tomorrow, while Dahal will return from Chitwan on Thursday. “The issues on formation of new government and unification of party will be discussed when both leaders are in Kathmandu,” Mahara said.

A version of this article appears in print on December 13, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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