NC weighs Cabinet reshuffle option

  • Taking RPP on board possible move if Maoist-led ministries are vacated
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 9, 2017-

In response to the coalition partner CPN (Maoist Centre) siding with the opposition CPN-UML in the form of an electoral alliance, the prime minister’s party Nepali Congress is mulling over inducting the Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party to the Cabinet.

The Maoist leadership has told Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba that it will not withdraw from the Cabinet but the party “is ready to quit the government if the 

PM wants”.

Leaders close to Thapa said the RPP plans to join the government and remain in the democratic alliance led by the NC, sharing electoral seats with “like-minded” parties joining forces to counter the leftist alliance of the UML, Maoist Centre and the Naya Shakti Party, Nepal.

But the PM will not sack Maoist ministers until October 21, the day Parliament completes its term, according to Congress leaders. When Parliament ceases to exist, the PM will induct ministers from other parties that are willing to join the alliance. A leader informed about the developments said there are discussions about appointing Thapa as the home minister once the post held by Maoist leader Janardan Sharma is vacated. Besides, four more ministries are said to have been offered to the RPP.

RPP Spokesperson Mohan Shrestha said a joint meeting of the party’s office bearers and its Central Working Committee on Monday will take a formal decision whether to join the government. RPP Chairman Kamal Thapa would meet Prime Minister Deuba to discuss the issues later in the day.

“If everything goes according to the plan, the party will join the government within this week,” said Shrestha.

After dissolution of the House, no party can introduce a no-confidence motion against the government. Shortly after the three parties announced their electoral alliance with the ultimate goal of unification, PM Deuba had consulted with constitutional experts about several possible moves.

Deuba was elected prime minister on June 6 with 388 votes in his favour in the 593-strong Parliament. The Maoist Centre has 82 seats in Parliament. The RPP has 18 lawmakers.

If the PM sacks the Maoist ministers or the party recalls them, Deuba will take the RPP and the Madhes-based parties on board “to ensure the federal parliamentary and provincial elections” scheduled to be held together on November 26 and December 7.

The Nepali Congress, the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, the RPP, the RPP (Prajatantrik), the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and the Nepal Loktantrik Forum have agreed to form an electoral alliance to counter the left alliance.

The SSF-N and the RJP-N have already announced to share seats 50-50 while keeping the door for larger electoral alliances open.

Published: 09-10-2017 07:30

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