Row over government formation deepens

Kathmandu, April 27:

The row between the major parties over the formation and leadership of the new government has intensified.

The NC and CPN-UML want the CPN-Maoist to lead the next government only after a constitutional amendment allowing the opposition to dislodge the prime minister and the government with a simple House majority. As per the interim constitution, the prime minister may be unseated only by a two-thirds majority.

This posture of the second and the third largest parties does not impress the Maoists, though they have said they are ready to discuss the idea with the coalition partners during the impending seven-party meeting.

Maoist leader Khim Lal Devkota dubbed the concept of simple-majority government as “the hangover of the majority-model” of the previous parliament.

“The idea itself breaches the spirit of the popular mandate expressed through the election as well as the interim constitution that calls for a consensus-model and not a majority-model government,” Devkota said. He added that the majority-model also violates the spirit of the proportional representation system of voting, which was adopted for the crucial vote of April 10, to ensure representation of even fringe parties in the constitution drafting process.

However, NC vice-president Gopal Man Shrestha said that if the Maoists were so committed to consensus politics, they should not have talked about leading the next government without consulting the coalition partners after the polls. “We are the single largest party and there is no doubt that we are going to lead the next government,” Devkota said. “Any attempt on the part of the parties to violate the people’s mandate will be counterproductive to them.”