UML, Maoists mull 60:40 Cabinet share

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 26, 2017-The CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) are likely to share Cabinet positions on a 60:40 ratio if unification between the two parties does not materialise before forming a new government. 

Although things are yet to be clear about the incoming government, the UML wants to offer the junior ally 30 percent Cabinet positions on the basis of the seats won by the Maoist Centre in the elections. Sixty-forty is the ratio the two parties fielded their candidacies in the recently held federal parliamentary and provincial assembly elections.

UML leader Bishnu Rimal, who is considered close to party Chairman KP Sharma Oli, said the proportional share is in case the two parties do not unite soon. 

Oli is tipped to be the next prime minister but the row over formation of the National Assembly has delayed the process.

If the parties unite before government formation, the arrangement being discussed will not be enforced. Allocation of portfolios for leaders from the two parties will follow, said leaders privy to the developments.

If the Election Commission announces the Proportional Representation seats won by the parties in the federal parliament, government formation will gain momentum, said senior Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha. “Otherwise, there is no alternative but to reach a deal with the Nepali Congress [on the ordinance forwarded for National Assembly election],” he said.

Shrestha claimed that a modality of government formation had been worked out with the UML. The two parties hope to agree to an outline of unification before government formation. “Talks with the UML will expedite from Wednesday on both government formation and party unity,” he said.

Bilateral and multilateral discussions are expected to gain momentum as soon as Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal returns from Chitwan on Tuesday.

UML leader Rimal said it would take at least two weeks to form the new government if the EC allots the PR seats to the parties. If the poll authority delays the results, Rimal added, the UML would be in no hurry to form the government as the dispute over formation of the upper house will have to be resolved first. 

In order to end the dispute over modality of National Assembly election, the Maoist party believes that at some point of time there should be an agreement with the NC. But the UML is unlikely to drop its demand for majority-based voting to pick members of the upper house. 

“We don’t care if government formation is delayed but we cannot accept the single transferable vote system,” said Rimal, referring to the provision proposed in the ordinance.

But the scenario could be different if the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal decides to back a UML-led government. Leaders from the two parties are engaged in negotiations.

Clarifying on the UML’s consultations with the Madhes-based parties, UML leader Pradeep Gyawali said: “Since the new government needs support from all the major parties including the Nepali Congress, Chairman Oli has started dialogue with leaders from those parties to take them into confidence.”

 

Party unification talks ‘today’

KATHMANDU: The party unification coordination committee of the left alliance is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, after CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who has been visiting Tarai districts, returns to the Capital the same day, Dahal’s press coordinator Manahari Timilsina said.

When leaders of the two parties are making conflicting statements regarding power-sharing between the two parties, all eyes are on the meeting of the coordination committee.

On Sunday, Dahal said in Chitwan that the two leaders of the UML and the Maoist Centre had burnt their bridges, meaning that there was no going back on the unification plan.

“The meeting of the party unification coordination committee will begin as soon as Dahal returns--it may be on Tuesday evening or Wednesday,” said UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali. He claimed that the duo would finalise everything about the modality of merger and the ordinance on National Assembly. Even while Dahal has been away, the two leaders are said to be discussing issues over phone.  

Second rung leaders from both the parties are waiting for the two leaders to meet and clear the air of confusion surrounding the next joint move of the two parties. “Things will be clear once Chairman Dahal returns to Kathmandu,” said Maoist Centre Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal. (PR)

Published: 26-12-2017 07:31

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