New govt likely in first week of January

- Post Report, Kathmandu
EC says poll results will be submitted to the President by this month-end

Dec 11, 2017-Vote counting of the House of Representatives (HoR) and Provincial Assembly (PA) elections may be nearing conclusion, but it will take another month to form a new government, according to officials. 

If the current alliance of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) goes well even after the elections, UML Chairman KP Oli is expected to lead a coalition government of the two parties. Sources within the parties say there is informal understanding between UML chief Oli and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on post-election power sharing but they are reluctant to make it public as yet. The country will get a new prime minister within the first week of January next year, multiple sources say. 

It will take another 5-6 days to complete the counting of votes of both the proportional representation (PR) and first-past-the-post elections. After the Election Commission (EC) comes out with the final number of seats for parties under the PR category, the parties need at least a week to finalise names of nominees for the House of Representatives under the PR category.

“Once we have the number of seats that parties will get under the PR category, we will write a letter to parties to provide the name of leaders to be nominated. Parties will require at least seven days,” said EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal. “The EC will submit the election results to President Bidya Devi Bhandari within the last week of this month. Parties also need a few days to elect parliamentary party leader.” 

To form the government, there is no need of calling the session of HOR.  A constitutional provision states ‘President shall appoint the leader of a parliamentary party that commands majority in HOR as the prime minster, and council of ministers shall be constituted under his or her chairmanship’. 

In cases where no party has a clear majority in HoR, the President shall appoint as the prime minister a member of the House of Representatives who can command majority with the support of two or more parties representing to the House of Representatives. 

The size of HOR is 275--165 parliamentarians elected under the FPTP category and 110 under the PR category. To form the government, 138 seats are required in the HoR.  The third option is electing the parliamentary party leader of party with the highest number of members who should win vote of confidence within 30 days from Parliament.  As Under the FPTP category, the UML is set to emerge as the largest party, followed by the Maoist Centre in second place and the Nepali Congress third. However, the positions of the Maoist Centre and the NC could change once the seats under the PR category come into equation. 

Besides the formation of government, there are some additional tasks which must be undertaken without delay. First, the parties will have to finalise a Bill regarding the formation of the National Assembly. The President shall summon a session of the Federal Parliament within 30 days of the declaration of final results of the elections to the House of Representatives. That will also kick start a process for the formation of provincial governments. 

Published: 11-12-2017 07:35

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