Parties fail to pick PP leaders

Surkhet, February 5

Even though the Provincial Assembly has ratified its interim procedures and fixed the date for electing the speaker, political parties in Province 6 are yet to select leaders who will head the parties in the parliament.

As there were no parliamentary leaders of the parties, senior party leaders from the major three parties — CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist — addressed the first Provincial Assembly meeting yesterday. Selecting the CPN-MC parliamentary party leader has been difficult given the provision that the one who heads the parliamentary party will also land the chief minister’s post.

Kalikot’s Mahendra Bahadur Shahi and Jumla’s Naresh Bhandari are the main aspirants for the position. As there was a dispute regarding who would speak on behalf of the party in the first PA meeting yesterday, party provincial in-charge Shakti Basnet had to step in ruling that Shahi would represent the party until the party officially selects its parliamentary party leader.

As the two leaders have refused to back down, there are voices that now prefer other than the two for the post.

There are 13 lawmakers from the party in the Provincial Assembly.

Similarly, the CPN-MC’s left alliance partner, the CPN-UML, too is finding it hard to select its parliamentary party leader. The party’s provincial deputy coordinators Yamlal Kandel and Prakash Jwala are the major aspirants.

According to a lawmaker from the party privy to the matter, there are preparations to unanimously pick Jwala and Kandel as speaker and parliamentary party leader respectively.

The party has 20 lawmakers in the Provincial Assembly. As per the agreement between alliance partners, CPN-MC will get the post of chief minister in the province, while UML will get the post of speaker for the provincial parliament.