As the deadline to form new government approaches, ruling alliance on the verge of split

Neither the Nepali Congress nor the Maoist Center wants to compromise in the power-sharing deal. This has resulted in the last minute twist in the ruling alliance.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: As the deadline to form a new government is ending in a few hours, the ruling coalition of five parties has failed to forge a consensus to forge a power-sharing deal.

A series of meetings between ruling party leaders failed to yield any decisive outcome on Sunday, according to leaders.

Following the meetings, leaders claimed the ruling coalition is splitting. “We tried to save the ruling coalition, but the Maoist Center couldn’t agree on a power sharing deal presented by the Nepali Congress,” Ram Chandra Paudel, senior leader of Nepali Congress confirmed the serious differences within the ruling alliance. 

The Nepali Congress, the largest party in the House of Representatives, presented a modality of the new government, in which it wanted the Maoist Center and CPN (Unified Socialist) to lead the government only in the second half of the parliament term. 

The decisive meeting was concluded indecisively as Nepali Congress was reluctant to present Maoist chairperson Prachanda as the candidate of the Prime Minister for the first term. 

Following the failure to forge the consensus, Prachanda and other leaders rushed to the residence of KP Sharma Oli, chair of CPN-UML, seeking his support to form the government. 

The KP Oli-led party is the second largest party in the parliament with 78 seats. 

President of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Rabi Lamichhane and chairperson of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Rajendra Linden have also reached Balkot. The RSP and RPP have secured 20 and 14 seats, respectively, in the recently-concluded election. 

If political parties fail to forge a consensus by 5:00 PM today as per Article 76 (2), President Bhandari will have two options, according to the constitutional experts. She can extend the deadline upon the request from the ruling alliance or she can invite parties to form a new government as per Article 76 (3) of the constitution.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari, on December 18, had invited political parties to stake their claim to the position of the Prime Minister as per Article 76 (2) of the constitution of Nepal. The deadline, given by the president, is ending today at 5:00 PM.

What does the constitution say?

Article 76 (3) states, “In cases where the Prime Minister cannot be appointed pursuant to clause (2) within thirty days after the date of declaration of the final results of election to the House of Representatives or where the Prime Minister so appointed fails to secure a vote of confidence pursuant to clause (4), the President shall appoint as the Prime Minister the leader of the parliamentary party which has the highest number of members in the House of Representatives.”

Article 76 (2) states, “In cases where no party has a clear majority in the House of Representatives pursuant to clause (1), the President shall appoint as the Prime Minister a member of the House of Representatives who is able to command a majority with the support of two or more parties representing to the House of Representatives.”