Prez approves ordinance on upper house

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 30, 2017-President Bidya Devi Bhandari authenticated the much-awaited ordinance on National Assembly election on Friday, removing a hurdle to electing the upper house.

According to President’s aide Bhesh Raj Adhikari, Bhandari signed the ordinance shortly after holding a meeting with Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML leader Subas Nembang. The head of state had told PM Deuba on Friday morning that she would authenticate the ordinance to fulfil her responsibility as the disputes over electing the Assembly had not been resolved in consensus among the parties.

President Bhandari had been holding consultations on the ordinance with political leaders and legal experts.

The ordinance was put on hold mainly due to a dispute between the governing Nepali Congress and the largest party CPN-UML over the poll modality.

The stalemate has delayed the process to form a new government three weeks after the historic parliamentary and provincial assembly elections.According to Article 86 of the constitution, the National Assembly has 59 members. An electoral college consisting of provincial assembly members and chiefs and deputy chiefs of the local federal units will pick 56 members. The President nominates three additional members, including one woman on the recommendation of the government.

The UML, which has become the largest party from the parliamentary and provincial elections, had taken its stance against the ordinance, opposing the modality of electing the Assembly—the single transferable vote system. While the NC and the Madhes-based parties supported the STV system, the CPN (Maoist Centre), which shares the Cabinet with PM Deuba and has formed an alliance with the UML, took the middle path. 

Soon after the presidential move, the UML, which is poised to form the next government, termed the ordinance and its contents as “unconstitutional”. The party accused the Congress and PM Deuba of building pressure on Bhandari to approve it.

Published: 30-12-2017 06:42

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