Deuba sees no need for party meetings for ending impasse

  • Says dispute over ordinance for upper house election is constitutional
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 22, 2017-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has dismissed calls for holding cross-party meetings, terming issues related to election to the National Assembly as purely constitutional, according to his aides.

The PM is said to have reached the conclusion after informal consultations with top leaders of the party. Deuba on Thursday held consultations with Congress leaders about possible ways to break the deadlock. The meeting concluded that the impasse is constitutional--not political.

Leaders of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) have urged Deuba to call a meeting of the five parties represented in the House of Representatives as national parties to discuss the issue. “The PM is of the view that the President should endorse the ordinance on election to the National Assembly. Since this is a constitutional issue, there is no need for consultations,” said PM’s press coordinator Govinda Pariyar.

“The PM is ready to discuss [matters] with the parties after the ordinance is passed,” Pariyar said, adding that there was consensus within the NC that the President has to make the first move for ending the impasse.

The government says polls for the upper house should come before the results of the final House of Representatives elections as it is mandatory to have 33 percent women in the bicameral parliament. According to Pariyar, Deuba was displeased at CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli pressing the Election Commission to come up with the final results without the elections to the National Assembly.

NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat said Deuba’s position was clear. “First, the path should be cleared for National Assembly formation. Once the final results of the federal parliamentary election are out, it will clear the way for government formation,” said Mahat.

The UML and the Maoist Centre are seeking a way out. “We’re weighing alternatives and preparing to hold talks with the Nepali Congress and Prime Minister Deuba,” said senior Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha. “There have been informal discussions with NC leaders. We hope to find a solution,” he said.

“As the head of government, PM Deuba should be serious about swift transfer of power after the election results. First, he should resign by respecting the people’s mandate,” said Shrestha.

The left alliance has suggested that the Election Commission submit the final results of the House of Representatives by dividing proportional representation seats. Once the final results are handed to the President, the left alliance believes hurdles to new government formation are removed. The EC, however, is waiting for political consensus on the matter.

The two-phase elections concluded on December 7. While the results of the first-past-the-polls have been announced, the poll authority has yet to publish the results of proportional representation polls held for both the federal parliament and the state assemblies.

Published: 22-12-2017 08:02

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