Big 3 on same page but have different readingsAn impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki may have brought a semblance of unity among major parties, but differences continue to persist when it comes to the way forward.
An impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki may have brought a semblance of unity among major parties, but differences continue to persist when it comes to the way forward.
House adjournment for two weeks on Tuesday after starting discussion on the impeachment motion against Karki, who is currently suspended as the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), was aimed at creating a window for the parties to reach a deal on the impeachment motion and CIAA leadership change, constitution amendment and local elections.
While the governing parties—the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress (NC)—are making a pitch for “a package deal” on impeachment of Karki and statute amendment with an aim to hold local elections in March/April, the main opposition CPN-UML is pushing for finding solution on an issue by issue basis.
According to sources, UML started laying stress on separate deals after indications from the NC that it wants new CIAA chief from its quota. The UML is for a unanimous candidate as the CIAA chief.
The Congress party has not come up with a clear position on the impeachment motion against Karki yet.
NC leader Gopalman Shrestha said party President Sher Bahadur Deuba has been authorised to deal with the impeachment motion and that the party has not explicitly called for appointing the chief at the CIAA from its quota. “Leaders might have talked about Karki’s successor,” he said.
On Wednesday, PM Dahal had said three parties were closed to a deal on the new leadership at the anti-graft body.
“The Maoist Centre has been calling for a package deal on all issues,” said UML Secretary Pradip Gyawali. “All three issues are of utmost importance, but the UML believes parties should reach separate agreements.”
The UML has, however, said PM Dahal’s Wednesday’s initiative to hold talks with UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and NC President Deuba was a positive move.
During Wednesday’s meeting at Baluwatar, Oli had urged PM Dahal to focus on a time-bound plan for elections.
Even though the NC is yet to make its stance on impeachment of Karki public, it appears to be with the Maoist Centre and the UML—the two parties which moved the motion on October 19.
On constitution amendment, the UML so far has taken a hard stance.
Asked whether the UML will be ready for amending four issues as demanded by the agitating Madhes-based parties, Gyawali said the government has yet to come with a formal proposal in this regard. “The UML is open to discussion,” said Gyawali.
Shanker Pokhrel, a UML leader close to party Chairman Oli, said the impeachment motion against Karki and constitution amendment should not be mixed and that there should not be any confusion at all, as these are two separate issues.
The impeachment motion against Karki has emerged as one of the most pressing issues for the major political parties, which are already hard-pressed to deal with other high-priority matters like constitution amendment and local level elections.
The Madhes-based parties have warned of launching protests if a constitution amendment proposal is not tabled by Chhath.