Simple majority provision can tame Maoists: Narahari

Kathmandu, May 21:

Some politicians believe that replacement of the constitutional provision of a two third majority with a simple majority to form and remove the government and sharing of powers is the only way to break the prevailing political stalemate.

Nepali Congress leader Narahari Acharya says parties other than the CPN (Maoist) want the provision of simple majority to check Maoist atrocities and possible hegemony.

According to Acharya, the Maoists have a genuine fear that once the simple majority provision

is incorporated in the constitution, they will have to face no-confidence motions and see the

toppling of their government any time.

“The Maoists should agree to the simple majority provision and other parties should sign an agreement with a pledge that they will not create hurdles for the Maoist government for a certain period of time. That can restore confidence among major stockholders,” Acharaya told this daily.

He wants the Maoists to have executive power since they are the single largest party.

“As the NC has to play a crucial role to draft a democratic constitution, it should lay claim over leadership of the Constituent Assembly. That will help defuse tension and render the charge that the Nepali Congress is doing all this to lay claim over the post of president baseless,” Acharaya said.

Some of the party activists had agreed with him when he put a proposal to this effect in the recently-held central committee meeting, Acharya said.

He said the post of ceremonial head could go either to the UML or the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum as part of a power-sharing arrangement among key players.

CPN-UML leader Bharat Mohan Adhikari said the Maoists should try to muster support of 13 parties that have more than five seats in the Constituent Assembly. If that is a tall order, they should at least win support of the Nepali Congress, UML and Maadhesi Janaadhikar Forum as they together command a two third majority, he said.

“One way to run a unity government is to have a constitutional guarantee that major decisions

will be taken only after seeking consensus of all four parties (CPN-Maoist, UML, NC and MJF),”

he said.

The Maoist-led government should not function like the current one in which UML ministers are powerless, he further said.

“We can support the Maoists only when we are assured that we will be able to take independent decisions related to our ministries,” Adhikari said.

He said the constitutional provision of having a ceremonial head of state will best serve the interest of the nation because the dignified position can go to a candidate from marginalised groups.

Maoist leader CP Gajurel said since the major parties were divided over the form of the government, amendment to constitution will only open the Pandora’s box.

He said power could be shared among the major parties, provided they trust one another.

“People are the ultimate judges and they will punish us if we become autocratic,” Gajurel said.

A commitment by other political parties that they will not table a motion of no-confidence against the Maoist government for a certain period of time will encourage the Maoists to exhibit dictatorial tendencies, he said.