Dahal to have executive power to lead Nepal Communist Party
Kathmandu, November 20
Secretariat of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today decided that while KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal would continue to co-chair the party, Dahal would have the executive power to lead the party and Oli would remain the prime minister till the term of the current House of Representatives ended to give the message of political stability.
This agreement addresses Dahal’s major demand of having the chance to lead the party while Oli leads the government.
After the secretariat meeting, NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha told mediapersons that Oli and Dahal, who were at the top of the party’s seniority list, would have equal rank, but Dahal would mostly chair the party meetings. The meeting also decided that the two co-chairs would run the party on the basis of mutual consensus.
Dahal, who had blamed Oli for not adhering to their agreement of taking turns to chair the party meetings, was allowed by Oli to chair the party meetings in his absence when he went to Singapore for treatment in August.
Oli had assured Dahal that he would soon hand him the party’s executive powers.
Dahal had been saying that there was a gentleman’s agreement between him and Oli, whereby Oli would vacate the PM’s chair in his favour after two-and-a-half years. Oli recently countered Dahal’s contention in a newspaper interview saying that the people had given him the mandate to lead the government, not to others. After Oli assured Dahal of handing him the executive power to lead the party, Dahal started saying that the PM would remain the executive head for a full five-year term.
Constitutional expert Senior Advocate Surya Dhungel said the term of a prime minister was decided by the House of Representatives and not by a party’s secretariat. In that sense, today’s decision of the NCP secretariat to allow Oli to remain the PM for full five-year term was wrong.
He even criticised Dahal and Oli for not disclosing the contents of their meeting with President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Dhungel said the president had the right to be informed about Cabinet reshuffle in advance, but since Oli and Dahal went to meet her they should disclose what they discussed with her.
“As the contents of the discussion were not disclosed, one could assume that they discussed confidential issues with the president. That is not good,” he added.
A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.