In House, MPs trade chargesThe second day of discussion on no-confidence motion against Prime Minister KP Shrama Oli saw sharp criticism of the PM not only by the opposition but even some senior leaders of the ruling CPN-UML who made critical references to Oli’s leadership style.
The second day of discussion on no-confidence motion against Prime Minister KP Shrama Oli saw sharp criticism of the PM not only by the opposition but even some senior leaders of the ruling CPN-UML who made critical references to Oli’s leadership style.
The most pointed criticism of PM Oli and his supporters came from Nepali Congress leader Pradip Giri, who challenged arguments of lawyers close to the UML that there is no provision in the constitution for forming a new government.
Giri’s ire was aimed at former Speaker and UML leader Subas Nembang, who on Friday had said that there was no constitutional provision to install a new government. “It is patently wrong to argue that the constitution could do everything else except elect a new prime minister,” Giri said. He cautioned that it was misinterpretation of one article, such as Article 298, which gives rise to a Hitler.
“Why was the former Speaker silent when the constitution was being promulgated if indeed there was a flaw?” he challenged.
Nearly three dozen lawmakers spoke both for and against the motion on Saturday. Voting is scheduled to take place on Sunday.
MPs from the ruling alliance claimed that the CPN (Maoist Centre) tabled the no-trust motion in haste even as the UML was ready to hand over the leadership in near future. Had the Maoists waited for a few more weeks, they claimed, there would have been no need for such a measure to claim the government’s leadership.
UML Vice-chairman Bam Dev Gautam acknowledged a “gentlemen’s agreement” between the UML and the Maoists to hand over the government leadership and that he was committed to implementing it.
Claiming to be among the few people to take initiatives for bringing then-rebel Maoists into the peace process 11 years ago, Gautam said he had never betrayed the Maoists, nor would he deceive them in the future. “The gentlemen’s agreement would have been implemented sooner or later,” he said.
Gautam said the Oli government’s failure was the failure of the Maoists too as the party led eight crucial ministries.
Addressing Parliament, former PM and UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal pointed to the “self-centric politics that is prevalent in the UML” and how it had been ruining the country—a remark perceived to be aimed at Oli.
Indicating that Prime Minister Oli moved unilaterally while running the party and the government, he demanded a change in the practice of bypassing others. Nepal said he was sad to see political parties engage in forming and toppling governments so frequently. “The Maoists might have problems but the way they presented themselves in Parliament is not right,” he said.
Maoist lawmakers claimed that they were forced to quit the coalition as Oli failed to respect their concerns. They said their party had submitted written demands to the PM several times but he never made any attempt to address them.
Responding to the comments from the UML leaders, Maoist lawmaker Haribol Gajurel said Oli was so defiant that he even interfered in the ministries led by Maoist Centre members. “It’s wrong to say that we broke the alliance in haste. We never wished to take this step but the PM’s self-centred approach compelled us to,” he said.
NC leader Ramesh Lekhak accused UML leaders of trying to create confusion over constitutional provisions so that they could cling on to power.
Meanwhile, lawmakers affiliated to the Madhesi Morcha, who had long been obstructing the House meeting, took part in the deliberation where they criticised Oli’s “reluctance to address our demands”.