RPP, SSF-N back Deuba’s bidThe sole candidate for the prime ministerial election, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has received wide political support so much so that he could have a tough time accommodating all the parties in his Cabinet if they wish to be part of his government.
The sole candidate for the prime ministerial election, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has received wide political support so much so that he could have a tough time accommodating all the parties in his Cabinet if they wish to be part of his government.
As of now, Deuba has the backing of 207 NC lawmakers, 81 CPN (Maoist Centre) MPs, 17 from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum, three from the Nepal Communist Party (United), five from several fringe parties and one independent parliamentarian.
Deuba also reached out to the CPN-UML, meeting opposition leader KP Sharma Oli on Sunday. The UML chair is learnt to have urged Deuba to wait another two days for the PM election.
With the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal deciding to support Deuba, the PM-in-waiting will face a mounting challenge to check the Cabinet size if the three parties want to join the government too.
Deuba has the record of leading one of the largest Cabinets in history. PM Oli was criticised for having six deputy prime ministers in his Cabinet. Outgoing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal also faced criticism for a jumbo Cabinet. The Cabinet of Baburam Bhattarai had 49 members.
The SSF-N has 15 Members of Parliament and the RPP 37. A Parliamentary Party meeting of the RPP on Sunday decided to support the government to be formed under Deuba, according to RPP Spokesperson Mohan Shrestha.
The party also formed a three-member committee comprising leaders Jayant Chand, Dilnath Giri and Kunti Shahi to take further decisions.
If the RPP joins the government, at least four deputy prime ministers are likely in the Deuba Cabinet—one each for the NC, the Maoists, Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and the RPP. It is learnt that the NC president has offered the RPP four ministerial berths.
The Upendra Yadav-led Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal has also decided to support Deuba for the top post. Deuba made a written commitment to amending the constitution as demanded by the SSF-N, according to a statement issued by the Forum.
“At this critical juncture, when the local elections are taking place in an unfavourable condition, we have decided to vote for Deuba as he has assured us of constitution amendment,” said Yadav.
As of Sunday, the Nepali Congress is set to lead the Foreign, Finance, Defence and Physical Infrastructure ministries and while the Maoist Centre is ready for the Home and Energy portfolios. If the RPP decides to join the government, its portfolios will have to be worked out, said an NC interlocutor privy to the developments.
The newly formed Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal is likely to support Deuba without joining the government if some kind of political agreement is reached. The party has 24 votes. Leaders are trying to forge an agreement that would pave the way for the RJP-N to back Deuba, sources said.
“We are trying to reach some sort of agreement by Monday with the ruling parties, in the same spirit when the present coalition was formed,” said RJP-N leader Laxman Lal Karna.
Loktantrik Forum- 17
Fringe parties- 5
Majdoor Kisan Party- 8
Fringe parties- 3