Deuba backtracks on MCC compact tabling after Maoist warning to quit governmentThe prime minister makes a turnabout despite saying a day before he had spoken with Speaker on moving the US grant in Parliament.
The government has backtracked on its Tuesday’s announcement to table the Millennium Challenge Corporation-Nepal Compact in Parliament.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba agreed not to table the MCC compact after the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) threatened to quit the government if it is tabled without amendments.
This makes Prime Minister Deuba do a volte-face as he had publicly said on Tuesday that he had even spoken with Speaker Agni Sapkota for the tabling of the $500 million US grant agreement at Wednesday’s House meeting.
“Prime Minister Deuba and Maoist chair Dahal reached an understanding not to table MCC in the House and decided to call a meeting of top leaders of the ruling party at 3pm on Thursday,” said a member from Dahal’s secretariat.
The government decision not to table the MCC compact followed an agreement between Deuba and Maoist chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal during a meeting on Wednesday morning.
After attending a meeting of the Parliamentary Party, which decided to stand against the MCC compact tabling, Dahal had reached Baluwatar to hold talks with Deuba.
“The MCC compact will not be tabled today. The meeting between the prime minister and Maoist chair reached an agreement to this effect. The meeting of the ruling alliance called for Thursday will take a decision on the matter,” Pushpa Bhusal, the Nepali Congress whip and a member of the Business Advisory CommitteeCommittee, told the Post. “The next House meeting could be held on Friday.”
The Maoist Parliamentary Party also decided to pull out of the coalition if the government moved ahead with its plan to table the compact without amendments to some of its provisions. Following the decision of the two leaders, the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) also decided not to table the MCC compact Wednesday.
The meeting was sharply divided over whether to include the MCC compact as an agenda for Wednesday’s House meeting.
While the representatives from the Nepali Congress demanded that it must be tabled at Wednesday's meeting, those from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and CPN (Unified Socialist) stood against it. The main opposition UML, which has decided to continue House obstructions, had boycotted the meeting.
“There was a division among representatives from different parties,” Rekha Sharma, a lawmaker from the Maoist Centre in the Business Advisory Committee, told the Post. “With a deal between the two top leaders, there was an agreement not to table the compact today. The Speaker also said there has to be a consensus among the parties before its tabling.”