Ruling party Secretariat decides to nominate Bamdev Gautam as Upper House memberWith the decision, Yubaraj Khatiwada won't be able to continue as the finance minister.
Tika R Pradhan
The ruling Nepal Communist Party on Thursday decided to recommend party vice-chair Bamdev Gautam as a member of the National Assembly.
One seat has been vacant in the Upper House for the last six months since Yubaraj Khatiwada’s two-year tenure ended on March 3.
“Today’s meeting of the Secretariat decided to send Gautam to the National Assembly,” said Jhalanath Khanal, a senior leader of the party and a member of the Secretariat.
Earlier on February 26, the party had decided to nominate Gautam to the National Assembly. The decision, however, had run into controversy within the party and it had remained unimplemented.
If Gautam is sent to the National Assembly, Yubaraj Khatiwada won’t be able to continue as the finance minister.
As per constitutional provisions, a non-elected person can be appointed a minister but he or she needs to take the oath as a member either of the House of Representatives or the National Assembly within six months of the appointment.
Khatiwada will complete his six months as a minister without a membership of any of the two Houses of the federal parliament on Friday.
Though Oli was for continuing Khatiwada as the finance minister, he was left with no choice as failure to abide by a deal he had reached with Gautam could have affected internal party dynamics, threatening his position as prime minister and party chair.
Gautam, who lost the 2017 parliamentary elections, has emerged as a strongman in the party, especially the Secretariat, as his move to switch sides tilts the balance.
With Gautam on his side, Oli currently enjoys a majority in the nine-member Secretariat.
After Gautam sided with the faction led by Pushpal Kamal Dahal, with the backing of senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal, which was demanding Oli’s resignation as party chair and prime minister, Oli on July 28 had visited his house to win over him.