Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda’s resignation deferred
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Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda’s resignation deferred

The main opposition CPN-UML said the prime minister cannot resign in the midst of two local elections, saying Prachanda should continue in office until second phase of elections, scheduled for June 14, concludes.   

world Updated: May 24, 2017 00:28 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal Prime Minister,Prachanda,Sher Bahadur Deuba
Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, arrives at the parliament in Kathmandu on Tuesday.(REUTERS)

The much-anticipated resignation of Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘ Prachanda’ on Tuesday was deferred over Opposition uproar in parliament, leading to confusion amid political uncertainties in the country.

Prachanda informed his cabinet colleagues he is putting in his paper to pave the way for Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba to become the next prime minister, honouring a pact signed they had signed last August. The pact was to run the government on a rotational basis until elections to the Parliament are held in February, 2018. Prachanda was to hold office till local polls are held and remaining two elections – provincial and central - were to be conducted under Deuba.

The cabinet members even posed for group photos to showcase their last day in office before Prachanda addressed the Parliament.

But the main opposition CPN-UML’s leader KP Oli said the prime minister cannot resign in the midst of two local elections, saying Prachanda should continue in office until second phase of the polls, scheduled for June 14, concludes.

A meeting of Prachanda, Oli and Deuba initiated by speaker Onsari Gharti to sort out the standoff could not make any headway as Oli was adamant on his position.

The parliament will convene again on Wednesday and Prachanda has called a meeting of top political leaders ahead of the meeting to iron out differences.

The Opposition members obstructed regular proceeding of the parliament, opposing the government’s move to increase of number of local administrative units in Tarai region, calling it a violation of election code of conduct.

The units were increased in order to address thegrievances ofagitating Madhes-based parties and to ensure their participation in the second phase of local polls. The idea was to make the units proportionate to demography, a move rejected by the main opposition.

One phase of elections has been already conducted, said Oli after obstructing the House proceeding. “How come the elections code of conduct allows us to increase the numbers (of local units) in the midst of elections?”, he asked.

“It is illegal and anti-constitutional,” Oli said, asking how the government could change the demarcation of local bodies overnight.

Nepal held the first phase of local elections on May 14 in three provinces, mostly in hills, where the UML is reported to be ahead.

The second phase is to be held in four provinces, mostly in the plains known as Tarai or Madhes, where the number of local bodies is almost twice as those that went to polls in the first phase.

First Published: May 23, 2017 22:15 IST