Unity govt figures as major parties’ agenda

Kathmandu, June 11

Is consensus government needed to implement the constitution? If yes, is that possible? Or, can a majority government do it.

These issues are being debated in the three major parties as there is one-and-a-half year time for holding elections for the federal Parliament as stipulated in the constitution.

Election of local bodies and provincial parliament are also major tasks in the first stage of statute implementation.

Leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and CPN Maoist Centre have underscored the need of consensus government to ensure the first phase of statute implementation. However, their propositions vary although they say consensus government will be a strong instrument for addressing national problems and ensuring formation of the new federal parliament by January 21, 2018, as mentioned in the new constitution.

NC leader Ramesh Lekhak said consensus government was imperative for the first stage of constitution implementation. He sees three alternatives for consensus government:

First, change of incumbent KP Sharma Oli-led government to form consensus government as it has failed to gain the confidence of disgruntled parties. Formation of unity government led by the CPNMC is one alternative, Lekhak said.

Second, forming unity government led by a UML leader other than Oli is another alternative, according to Lekhak.

Third, formation of consensus government under the leadership of the largest party, the Nepali Congress.

Of the three alternatives, the third will be natural, practical and secure way of ensuring statute implementation within the stipulated time, Lekhak said. Firstly, it was possible to promulgate the constitution under the NC’s leadership. And, secondly, the NC is the largest party with a successful track record.

The CPN-UML standing committee meeting last Saturday had concluded that the party would be ready for consensus government. However, it urged other parties to support the Oli-led government if unity government could not be formed.

“During the constitution making process, the then UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic were in opposition, yet they collaborated in the constitution making process. Opposition parties, including the NC, can help the country by following the same model,” Gyawali had told after the SC meeting.

CPNMC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said his party had been advocating a national consensus government for a long time and it had declined the NC’s offer to form a majority government under CPNMC’s leadership due to the same reason.

Forging consensus according to the roadmap of national agendas is of prime importance, Shrestha said.

“Consensus is necessary on five agendas — concluding the remaining task of the peace process, forging consensus with agitating Madhes-based and other parties, creating environment for elections by enacting laws, speeding up reconstruction works and normalising the relationship with India.

Then, the issue of government leadership can be discussed,” he said.

As the CPN MC is a major stakeholder in the peace process, implementation of the statute under its leadership will be the best option, he said.