UML to get 4 chief ministers, Maoist Centre 2

  • Provincial cabinets to have 7 to 10 members
  • UML, Maoists to share provincial seats 70:30
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2018-

As the provincial assemblies schedule their first meetings, a task force of the left alliance has agreed on a power-sharing deal for six provinces on a 70:30 ratio between the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre).

Since the Madhesi alliance of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and the Rastriya Janata Party, Nepal has a majority in Province 2 Assembly, the two parties are preparing to form a government there.

Though the two leftist parties had divided the candidates on a 60:40 ratio, the election results show that the winning candidates from the parties have a 70:30 proportion. This was taken as the basis of all power-sharing issues, including cabinet positions in the provinces.

As decided by the meeting of the task force held at the UML Parliamentary Party office in Singha Durbar on Sunday, the UML will have its candidates as chief ministers in provinces 1, 3, 4 and 5 while the Maoist Centre will get the CMs of provinces 6 and 7.

The UML will have its speakers in provinces 1, 3, 6 and 7 while Maoist Centre members of provincial assemblies will get the responsibilities in provinces 4 and 5. The junior partner had demanded four speakers but it got four deputy speakers instead—in provinces 1, 3, 6 and 7.

The task force also decided to limit the size of provincial cabinets to 7-11 strong, depending on the number of members in a Provincial Assembly.

According to the decision, Province 1 having 93 members will have up to 10 ministers, Province 3 having 110 members will have 11 ministers, Province 4 with 60 members will have seven ministers and Province 5 with 87 members will have nine ministers. Both Province 6 and Province 7, which have 40 and 53 members, respectively, will have seven ministers.

Task force members claimed that the names for these positions would be finalised by the respective parties.

“We’ve done our assigned responsibilities. Now the respective parties will finalise the names,” said Subas Nembang, the task force coordinator. The panel was instructed by the two chairmen to make the power-sharing arrangement.

Task force leaders Subas Nembang and Ram Bahadur Thapa had met UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Maoist Centre chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday and Sunday and briefed them on the developments.

According to UML leaders, the responsibility of selecting the chief minister candidate would be give to the provincial Parliamentary Party, which could select the PP leader through a vote if there is a controversy. “It’s not good for the party’s Standing Committee to pick the chief minister,” said Nembang, an SC member of the UML.

In Province 1, UML leaders Sherdhan Rai and Bhim Acharya have emerged as the frontrunners for the chief minister’s post. Party insiders say Rai has an edge over Acharya as the former is known to be close to Oli. However, Acharya claims that he has an almost two-thirds majority in the parliamentary party.

With party Secretary Prithvi Subba Gurung and Standing Committee member Kiran Gurung staking their claims to the post, the parliamentary party would pick the chief minister in Province 4 through a vote.

Shankar Pokharel has been elected the UML parliamentary party leader in Province 5 and therefore has no one to challenge him. UML Vice-chairperson Asta Laxmi Shakya is the most preferred candidate in Province 3.

Shakya would be an easy pick for the party as her nomination will make the process inclusive in terms of gender and ethnicity. Maoist sources said the party is preparing to field former energy minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi as the chief minister of Province 6 and Birman Chaudhary for Province 7.

Published: 29-01-2018 07:52

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