New government unlikely in January

Kathmandu, December 29

The new government is unlikely to be formed for another month and a half, as the process of electing National Assembly members will take at least 35 to 40 days after announcement of NA poll.

A government source said on condition of anonymity that if the government kept delaying appointment of provincial governors that would affect the timing of National Assembly election.

The source said the Election Commission would submit provincial proportional representation results within a week of appointment of governors. “An electoral college for the National Assembly election can be formed only after the EC submits provincial PR election results to governors,” the EC source added.

The source said once NA election results were known, the EC would submit parliamentary PR results to the president, paving the way for formation of the new government.

The source added that the poll panel would take time to prepare NA election directives and rules and software to hold NA election on the basis of single transferable voting system. “The EC has only prepared STV system formula on excel sheet. It will have to prepare software for the same. The EC will also need to educate 2,056 members of the electoral college,” the source added.

Meanwhile, EC Spokesperson Dinesh Ghimire said the EC would publish the National Assembly election calendar after NA poll date was announced.

The EC yesterday had asked parties to register with it for NA election within 15 days.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Senior Media Expert Govinda Pariyar said the caretaker government would automatically be relieved of its duty after a new government was formed and there was no need for the PM to tender his resignation. He said the government would announce the National Assembly election date based on the EC’s recommendation as it had to give the poll panel enough time to prepare for election.

UML leader Agni Kharel said the process of electing a new government should be initiated once the EC announced the House of Representatives proportional representation election results. “It is the Lower House that elects the new prime minister. National Assembly election is not needed to elect a new prime minister,” he argued. Kharel said Prime Minister Deuba was morally bound to resign but even if he did not quit, the process of forming the  new government could not be halted.