Govt working on state chief appointments

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 31, 2017-

After the presidential seal on the ordinance clears way for formation of the National Assembly, the government has expedited preparations to appoint chiefs of the seven provinces and to announce the date for NA elections.

Ruling party leaders say the appointments will allow the Election Commission to publish the final results of provincial elections. Ministers said that the government would consult with all the parties before taking a final decision on appointment of the chiefs in the seven provinces.

“Appointment of provincial chiefs is a must to fast-track the [upper house election] process. We are in regular consultation. The government will also consult with the left alliance before taking any decisions,” said Defence Minister Bhimsen Das Pradhan, adding that the government was looking for candidates acceptable to all the parties.

He, however, refused to reveal the names being considered. Pradhan said the Cabinet would meet within a couple of days after political consultations. Government Spokesman and Minister for Information and Commu-nications Mohan Basnet said the Cabinet would appoint the provincial heads “soon”.

“Without appointment of provincial chiefs, it will be difficult to convene state assemblies,” Basnet said. Announcement of temporary provincial capitals is also due. However, the Cabinet is preparing to find infrastructure necessary for the capitals.

In the absence of provincial chiefs, it has been difficult for the EC to submit the results of provincial assemblies under the proportional representation (PR) category. The results will be published in the Nepal Gazette after the provincial chiefs get them. Provincial Assembly members take their oath from the senior most member. Without being sworn in, they cannot cast their vote.

Endorsement of the ordinance has ended the deadlock but there is still a series of legal and constitutional processes to complete. The ministers argue that formation of the new government is possible only after the upper house is elected. The parties can fix the number of female PR members of the House of Representatives only after the Assembly is elected.

NC leaders have said Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will resign only after the election is over. But the left alliance has asked him to resign immediately. CPN-UML leader Som Prasad Pandey claimed that a new government would be formed before the upper house election. “The new government, led by the UML, will be in place within the next 15 days,” he said.

Published: 31-12-2017 07:40

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