Morcha calls it quits, severs ties with govt

  • SSF-N informs Speaker about decision, six constituents to do so today
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 16, 2017- The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on Wednesday announced that it had severed its over seven-month ties with the governing alliance, accusing the government of failing to take initiatives to address its five concerns that it had put forth on March 8.

While addressing the Legislature-Parliament, Morcha leaders announced that they had withdrawn their support to the government. 
However, only one of the seven constituents of the Morcha, which has 39 lawmakers in the House, informed about the decision to Speaker Onasari Gharti on Wednesday. The Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, which has 15 lawmakers, handed over a notice to Speaker Gharti, informing about its decision to withdraw support to the government. 
A Morcha meeting late in the evening decided that six other constituents will submit a formal notice to Speaker Gharti on Thursday, informing her about the decision to withdraw their support to government. 
The Morcha constituents had voted for Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the prime ministerial election on August 3 following assurances that the Dahal government would address their demand of constitution amendment. 
The Morcha’s decision to withdraw support to the government came hours after Prime Minister Dahal made one more bid to convince them to participate in polls, proposing that he would get the constitution amended but without addressing the row over provincial boundaries for now. He had also called on the Madhes-based leaders not to withdraw their support to the government. 
“PM Dahal had proposed formation of a high-level commission to address the dispute over provincial boundaries but the Morcha leaders said they would take the matter to party’s meeting before taking any decision,” PM Dahal’s Press Adviser Govinda Acharya said. 

Hours after their meeting with PM Dahal, Mahendra Raya Yadav, chairperson of the Tarai Madhesi Sadbhawana Party, said in Parliament that the government “is not serious about addressing our concerns”, which led the Morcha to withdraw support to the government. The Morcha had served a seven-day ultimatum on March 8, asking the government to address its five demands, including postponement of polls and constitution amendment. The ultimatum ended on Tuesday. 
The other concerns that the Morcha have raised are the [central] government infringed upon the jurisdiction of provincial governments, which are yet to be formed, by declaring local level elections. The Morcha had also reminded PM Dahal of the three-point agreement reached on August 3, which said the Dahal government would amend the constitution. 


“There has been no headway regarding addressing any of our concerns,” Yadav told the House. 
The Morcha’s decision to withdraw support, however, is not going to throw the Dahal government into crisis.
With PM Dahal inducting three members from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party last week, he now enjoys the support of 353 lawmakers in the 594-strong Parliament. 
The Morcha meeting on Wednesday also decided to announce fresh protest programmes, including non-cooperation to local level elections set for May 14.
The meeting rejected PM Dahal’s proposal of endorsing the constitution by putting the boundary issues on hold. 
According to Laxman Lal Karna, co-chair of the Sadbhawana Party Nepal, the Morcha’s protests will start from Thursday. 
But the Morcha has said it is mindful of the Secondary Education Examination starting from Thursday, hence it will intensify its protests only from March 27. 
The Morcha plans to picket district election offices on March 28 to protest against government move of declaring local level elections.

 

Timeline


-     Aug 3, ’16: Morcha votes for Pushpa Kamal Dahal during prime ministerial election
-     Nov 29, ’16: Govt registers constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat
-     Jan 6: Local Level Restructuring Commission submits its report to govt
-     Jan 8: Govt tables constitution amendment bill in Parliament; the opposition bloc led by the UML objects to the move
-     Feb 20: Govt announces local level elections for May 14; Morcha takes exception
-     March 8: Morcha serves 7-day ultimatum to govt to call off polls and amend the statute or else it will withdraw support to govt 
-     March 14: Morcha’s ultimatum ends
-     March 15: Morcha says it is severing ties with governing alliance for failing to address its concerns, announces protests 

Published: 16-03-2017 07:57

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