Kathmandu, August 18
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said he would step down only after the next general elections, effectively refuting Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s claim that there was a gentleman’s agreement with Oli to let Dahal become the PM after two-and-a-half years.
Addressing the House of Representatives today, the PM said, “No elected or public officers hold their posts for ever and nor will I, but those who want me to go should wait till the next general elections.”
“Old forces are trying to sabotage the new political system. The government has not taken their attempt seriously, but the day they pose a serious challenge, the government will crack down on them,” the PM said.
“We’ll only strengthen democracy. Those who call us authoritarian are trying to scare people, but the public is not going to buy their argument,” the PM said. He added that his government had done nothing that could anger the public.
He said some elements were taking advantage of the government’s restraint and benevolence, but the government would not tolerate their attempts to defy the constitution and sabotage the current political system.
The PM also issued a stern warning to monarchists, albeit indirectly. “Some people are trying to revive an institution which was a matter of the past. The government is not cracking down on them because it is not taking their utterances seriously, but the day they cross the limit, the government will do the needful,” he said.
The PM hoped that the committee formed to recommend office bearers for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappeared Persons would nominate members and chairpersons of the two commissions within a week or so.
“The government will make appointments in the two commissions once the recommendation committee nominates office bearers,” the PM said.
Oli said the government was focusing its efforts on growth and development to achieve the goal of making Nepal a prosperous country. “Even in this base year we have achieved more than seven per cent growth rate, the highest so far. Yet some people are not happy. We will achieve higher growth in the coming years,” the PM added.
He claimed that the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had filed record number of cases against corruption accused this year. Oli said the government was committed to controlling corruption, reclaiming public land grabbed by individuals, simplifying procurement process for encouraging investment in development work, upholding the rule of law, eradicating poverty and restoring peace and security.
He said he had set up a unit at the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor the progress of development projects. Oli also urged all to work in tandem to promote national unity in order to achieve the goals of economic growth.
A version of this article appears in print on August 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.