Spat over sharing of seats in civic bodies

Kathmandu, June 25:

Local Development Minister Dev Gurung and chief of CPN-UML’s local bodies department Rajendra Pandey today differed over the issue of representation of eight parties in local bodies.

Gurung said today that political appointments to the local bodies should be made as per the principle set by eight parties about power sharing in the House.

Addressing a function at the Reporters’ Club, Gurung said that a principle was set about power sharing at the centre under which three major parties — NC, UML and the CPN (Maoist) — got 25 per cent each, NC-D 15 per cent and the fringe parties were allocated 10 per cent of the total 329 seats in the parliament.

“The UML’s stance that power sharing in local bodies must be done according to the results of civic elections held in 2054 BS is not based on the changed political situation,” Gurung said.

Gurung has proposed to share equal numbers of DDCs and municipalities among the three parties and the rest among the NC-D and other fringe parties.

He, however, said that he would be ready to submit a new proposal to the cabinet if the eight-party leaders set a new principle about power sharing in the local bodies. Earlier, Gurung tabled a proposal at the council of ministers, but the council did not take any decision on the matter. The UML objected that the proposal tabled by the Local Development Ministry about appointments in local bodies were unacceptable to the party.

Pandey said the parliament was formed on the parties’ position in the 1999 parliamentary elections and the Maoists were allocated an equal number of seats with that of the UML, which emerged as the second largest party in 1999 polls.

“The same principle must be adopted while reinstating the representatives of the local bodies,” Pandey said. He said that even the mock session of the dissolved House had passed a resolution to reinstate representatives of the local bodies until they were replaced by the elected ones.

Gurung said UML’s stance to make the decade-old local bodies election the basis for representation was obsolete. Pandey countered, “If eight-year-old parliamentary poll can be made the basis for forming the House, why cannot the 10-year-old local polls be made a basis for reinstating local bodies?”

He said no discussion was held at the high-level meet of the eight-party alliance and that the ministry’s proposal was unacceptable to his party. The Election Commission has said issue of appointments to local bodies must be settled by July 16.

Results of 2054 civic polls

Parties 75 DDCs Positions

UML 56/51 chairmen/vice-chairmen

NC 13/14 chairmen/vice-chairmen

RPP 3/7 chairmen/vice-chairmen

Independent 2 chairmen

NWPP 1/1 chairman/vice-chairman

Parties 58 municipalities Positions

UML 41/43 mayors/dy mayors

NC 6/13 mayors/dy mayors

RPP 1 mayor

Independent 5 mayors

NSP 2 mayors

NWPP 1/1 mayor/dy mayor

Parties 3915 VDCs Positions

UML 2,329 chairmen

NC 988 chairmen

RPP 373 chairmen

Independent 206 chairmen