Polls will be held on scheduled dates: PM

  • Tells left alliance leaders he has no plans to remove Maoist ministers
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 13, 2017-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Thursday expressed his commitment to the upcoming elections.

Amid speculation that the government is planning to postpone the first phase of elections and working to hold both the federal and provincial polls at one go on December 7, PM Deuba on Thursday held talks with top leaders of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) in Singha Durbar and told them that his government was committed to holding the polls on the announced dates of November 26 and December 7.

UML Chairman KP Oli, Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior UML leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Subas Nembang and senior Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha were present in the meeting.

“The prime minister made it clear that elections dates would not be changed at any cost. He said he is committed to holding both the polls on the scheduled dates,” senior Shrestha told the Post after the meeting. 

This is the first meeting of top leaders of three major parties after the formation a left electoral alliance by the UML and the Maoist Centre on October 3. 

During the meeting, UML and Maoist Centre leaders also urged PM Deuba not to reshuffle the Cabinet, saying that such an act will violate the constitutional provision.

Some leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) are learnt to have been insisting that PM Deuba sack the ministers from the Maoist Centre, as it has formed an alliance with the main opposition despite being the NC’s key coalition partner.

PM Deuba assured the UML and Maoist Centre leaders that he would not do anything that violates the constitution, said a leader.

The UML and Maoist Centre have argued that the prime minister “cannot remove” ministers as per Article 298 of the constitution.

Article 298 (9) (C) says the offices of the deputy prime minister, minister, minister of state and assistance minister appointed shall be vacant if he or she is removed by the prime minister on the recommendation or advice of the concerned party. In the incumbent government’s case, the Maoist Centre is the concerned party. 

PM Deuba during private talks with some leaders, however, is learnt to have admitted that he is under immense pressure to remove the Maoist ministers. During the meeting, PM Deuba did not make any commitment on the issue of Maoist ministers, according to a source.

“Who knows about the situation after the two polls; the NC might form an alliance with the Maoist Centre again. So the NC is not in a hurry to remove the Maoist ministers,” said an NC leader. 

PM Deuba, according to a leader, just made it clear during Thursday’s meeting that “this government was formed to hold elections on time and it is committed to its job.”

 

Nepal proposes PR list submission date deferral 

KATHMANDU: Just as Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba expressed his commitment to hold the elections on scheduled dates, senior CPN-UML leader on Thursday proposed postponing the date for submitting the list of candidates under the proportional representation (PR) system, according to a leader present in a three-party meeting called by the prime minister. Parties have to submit the list of PR candidates on Sunday. According to a congress leader, UML leader Nepal said during the meeting that “we may not be able to submit the list under the PR category by Sunday due to time constraints.” “But the prime minister refused,” said the NC leader. (PR)

Published: 13-10-2017 07:31

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