Govt urges President to pass ordinance pronto

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Dec 20, 2017-Amid calls from the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), whose left alliance has registered an impressive electoral victory, to clear the way, the government has reiterated that the prime minister was waiting for the President to authenticate the ordinance on National Assembly election before he makes any significant move.

Organising a press meet in the Capital on Tuesday, government Spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Bahadur Basnet requested the head of state to authenticate the ordinance soon so that the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government would proceed with transfer of power to the incoming government. 

“As the government’s spokesman, I would like to sincerely request the President to pave the way for power handover by authenticating the ordinance,” Basnet told journalists at the ministry on Tuesday afternoon.

At a news conference on Sunday, the left alliance urged Prime Minister Deuba to clear the way for a new government without delay, rather than prolonging his tenure on the pretext of any legal or constitutional hurdles.

Minister Basnet argued that the government had presented the ordinance two months ago when no earlier Cabinet had worked on the law governing upper house election. There was no political consensus as the parties disagreed over its provisions.

UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli argued on Sunday that there was no legal or constitutional hurdle to handing over power to a new government. Oli termed the single transferable vote proposed in the ordinance as unconstitutional.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has been urging the parties to resolve the dispute over the ordinance soon. Under-secretary Krishna Murari Neupane, who is the assistant spokesperson for the President’s Office, said Bhandari was holding consultations on the ordinance.

A headquarters meeting of the Maoist Centre on Monday decided to resolve the issue of ordinance in consensus.

Minister Basnet also lashed out at the parties for allegations that the Nepali Congress-led government was prolonging its tenure citing legal and constitutional hurdles. Asking the left alliance to wait, Basnet said the Election Commission was yet to announce all the poll results while the political parties have yet to elect their parliamentary party leaders.

Asked about the government’s political appointments even when the popular mandate is for the rival camp, Basnet clarified that the Cabinet led by NC President Deuba would fill crucial vacancies until he resigns. In particular, the government is said to be preparing to appoint chiefs of the seven provinces while UML Chairman Oli has objected to the plans.

“The government will become caretaker only after the PM resigns,” the minister claimed.

Published: 20-12-2017 07:38

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