UML courts Madhes parties to form govt

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 25, 2017-

The CPN-UML leadership has met Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav reportedly in its bid to form a government with the backing of the Madhes-based party.

Revelation of Yadav’s meeting with UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli on Saturday comes at a time when Pushpa Kamal Dahal, head of the CPN (Maoist Centre) that formed an electoral alliance with Oli’s party, has said publicly that efforts were being made to isolate his party by siding with the SSF-N.

On the promise of ending chronic political instability through alliance and ultimate party merger, the UML and the Maoists have swept the polls. 

The UML will have 121 seats, the Nepali Congress 63, the Maoists 53, the SSF-N 17 and the Rastriya Janata Party, Nepal 16 in the 275-member House of Representatives. Five independent candidates have also been elected.

The UML and the SSF-N can reach the magic figure of 138 to claim a majority for government formation in the House. UML’s courting of Yadav is viewed with interest in the context of the two communist parties preparing for unification. Chairman Dahal is on a tour of Tarai districts, where he expressed his displeasure on Saturday at the Oli-Yadav meeting.

Moreover, leaders of the RJP-Nepal have also hinted that cooperation with a UML-led government is possible if it commits to amending the constitution promulgated in 2015. SSF-N and RJP-N swept the polls in Province 2 in an electoral alliance.

SSF Chair Yadav confirmed his meeting with Oli and that the two leaders had discussed government formation. “Oliji sought our support for government formation but I did not commit anything. I wonder why they need our vote while the left alliance has nearly a two-thirds majority,” said Yadav, adding that his party had no mandate to be part of the government.

Dahal told a gathering in Nawalparasi on Saturday that the UML leadership had turned to them “after the SSF-N rejected the proposal”.

In the meeting, Yadav had also asked the UML about its position on constitution amendment on which it maintained a rigid stance in the past. “There has been no concrete decision,” said Yadav. The UML should provide a credible basis for constitution amendment and commit to it publicly “if the party wants our support for government formation”, he added.

UML leader Shankar Pokhrel said the meeting between Oli and Yadav was known to Dahal. Pokhrel, who is considered to be close to Oli, claimed that Oli had met Yadav with Dahal’s consent.

Pokhrel also hinted that Oli was in talks with the RJP-N. Rajendra Mahato, one of the six top leaders of the RJP-N, told the Post that he had no knowledge of the UML reaching out to the RJP-N.

“At least, I haven’t received a call from Oliji,” said Mahato. “We’re fighting for our cause. If our issue is addressed, we can think of supporting the new government.”

Mahato said there could be more consultations in the Capital on government formation over the next few days.

Published: 25-12-2017 07:26

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