Nepal | June 04, 2020

Oli in favour of letting leaders split parties

Says it is a liberal and democratic provision

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Kathmandu, April 22

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a meeting with party lawmakers to brief them on the newly promulgated ordinances and the government’s preparedness to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Oli and Dahal started the meeting with party lawmakers from Sudurpaschim Province. Oli told them that they should not read too much into the two ordinances brought by the government as they were the need of the hour. The PM’s decision to bring the two ordinances to amend provisions of the Constitutional Council Act and Political Party Act has drawn flak from his own party leaders. The day the two ordinances were promulgated, Dahal tried to stop the promulgation by hastily calling the party’s Secretariat meeting but he failed, as ordinances were promulgated by the president on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers while party leaders were discussing them at the Secretariat meeting.

Dahal was present at the meeting, but it was the PM who did most of the talking, according to attending lawmakers.

According to NCP lawmaker from Sudurpaschim Province Dipak Prakash Bhatta, the PM told party lawmakers that the two ordinances were the need of the hour. The PM said allowing party leaders to split their party with the support of 40 per cent members either in the Central Committee or the Parliamentary Party was a liberal and democratic provision.

Oli and Dahal also met party lawmakers from Bagmati Province and Province 1.

According to Binda Pandey, who was among lawmakers of Bagmati Province, the PM told lawmakers of Bagmati Province that the government brought two ordinances as there was no certainty when the budget session of the Parliament would begin.

According to her, the PM said the Constitutional Council Act provision was changed through ordinance because when the act was framed, policy of consensus government dominated thoughts of party leaders, but since this was an elected government, the spirit of consensus contained in the Constitutional Council Act need not be retained.

Oli told lawmakers that the government had been thinking of bringing a bill in the winter session of Parliament to change the provision of Political Party Act to allow party leaders to split their party with the support of 40 per cent members either in the Central Committee or the Parliamentary Party but the government could not do so due to lack of time.

Oli told lawmakers that he favoured amending  provisions of the Political Party Act to allow party leaders to split their party if they had 40 per cent support either in the CC or the PP because the previous provision was too restrictive. Oli told lawmakers that prior to the Political Party Act, political leaders were able to split their party after mustering support in the CC or PP and that provision was more democratic.

Oli and Dahal will discuss the ordinances with party lawmakers tomorrow as well.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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