On Left ‘silence’, govt to name state chiefs, HQs

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Since no concrete suggestion came up in 5-party meeting, the government is expected to take decisions on its own

Jan 5, 2018-With the left alliance staying aloof from the government’s duty of announcing temporary capitals of the seven provinces, appointing governors and scheduling the National Assembly election, the Cabinet is preparing to take “unilateral” decisions on the three matters probably on Monday.

In a meeting called by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Thursday to find common ground on the agenda, the left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) urged the PM to complete constitutional and legal tasks necessary for handing over power.

PM Deuba had invited five major parties to Baluwatar in search of consensus on the issues amid calls from the left alliance, which has won a comfortable majority, to step down without further delay.

Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal reportedly told Deuba that since the row over ordinance on Upper House election has been resolved, the PM should clear the way for new government formation by holding the elections by January 22.

“We told the PM that appointing the governors and fixing the capitals are none of our concerns. We urged him to pave the way for new government formation as soon as possible,” said UML leader Bishnu Rimal. “It’s not our job; it’s the government’s,” he said, warning that the new government to be led by the left alliance would roll back the decisions including governor appointments.

“We’ll replace the governors once we form the new government. The provincial capitals will be fixed by the provincial assemblies. We urged the PM to hold the National Assembly elections not on [the proposed] February 8 but by January 22,” said Rimal.

PM’s senior press expert Govinda Pariyar said that the next Cabinet meeting, likely on Monday, will take decisions on all the three matters. Holding the elections on February 8 is the proposal of the Election Commission, not the government’s plan, said Pariyar. The government would announce the date in the next Cabinet meeting as recommended by the EC. Left alliance leaders had strongly objected to the delay in transfer of power to the parties that have got the popular mandate and urged Deuba to lay the groundwork for the same.

Since no concrete suggestion came up in the meeting, the government is expected to take decisions on its own.

Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said they had asked the government to respect the new mandate. Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel said after the meeting the government would name the provincial capitals and their chiefs after some preparations.

Chief Election Commis-sioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav, in a meeting with PM Deuba on Tuesday evening, had suggested February 8 as the date for National Assembly vote.

Maoist chief Dahal suggested holding the Assembly elections at the earliest, a view also shared by UML and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal leaders. UML Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal said the left alliance had warned the government against taking any decision of lasting effect, and promotion and transfer of civil servants.

Rawal also accused the government of pressing the poll authority to halt the election results. The government, which was preparing to appoint the provincial chiefs immediately after the parliamentary and provincial elections, backtracked on its move following objections from the left alliance.

The UML and the Maoist Centre argue that the new government should appoint the provincial chiefs.

Published: 05-01-2018 07:34

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