First meeting post election cuts no ice

  • Five national parties, however, agree to resolve disputes in consultation
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 23, 2017-

A meeting of the five parties that have won seats in the federal parliament failed on Friday to hammer out a deal for ending the impasse on National Assembly election as the Nepali Congress and the left alliance refused to budge from their respective positions.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had called the meeting to resolve differences over some provisions of the ordinance that the government has forwarded to the President. Leaders, however, viewed the PM’s move as positive saying that the parties had at least initiated dialogue to sort issues.

The meeting was attended by leaders from the NC, the left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal. This is the first meeting of the parties after the elections.

In the recently held elections to the House of Representatives, only five parties crossed the 3 percent vote threshold to secure the status of “national party”. The ordinance related to formation of the upper house is currently in the President’s Office awaiting political consensus.

In the meeting, the left alliance, which has won an overwhelming majority in the federal parliamentary and provincial assembly elections, urged PM Deuba to withdraw the ordinance saying that there was no political consensus on its contents. The NC rejected the call outright saying that the President cannot censure the ordinance forwarded by the executive. NC leaders argued that the federal parliament would not get its complete shape without election of the upper house.

“The President cannot stop the ordinance. The UML and the Maoist Centre cannot go against it,” NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel said after the meeting.

Left alliance leaders also urged Deuba to clear the way for new government without delay by respecting the people’s mandate. The PM responded that he was ready to hand over power once the final election results are out. In the meeting, Oli said he would not allow for endorsement of the ordinance even if it delayed his appointment as the prime minister.

“Since some provisions of the ordinance are unconstitutional, we cannot accept them,” Oli told the meeting. The left alliance objects to the single transferable vote proposed in the ordinance while calling for election of the upper house members with majority votes.

Two Madhes-based parties, however, agreed to the proposed electoral system. If the single transferable vote is adopted, leaders say, the NC will win more than a dozen seats. In the majority system, it is hard for the NC even to win a few seats. It is hard to implement the STV system, said Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

Published: 23-12-2017 07:31

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