Ruling alliance fails to agree on Vice PresidentElection body orders Congress to submit clarification after the party announced support to Ram Sahay Yadav.
A meeting on Wednesday of the 10-party coalition that supports the Pushpa Kamal Dahal government failed to agree on who to elect as Vice President since two members of the coalition are claiming the post.
The vice-presidential election is scheduled for Friday.
Alliance members Janata Samajbadi Party and Janamat Party have fielded Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav and Mamata Jha, respectively, as their candidates for the post.
UML vice-chair Astalaxmi Shakya is another candidate. Janata Samajbadi’s Pramila Yadav later backed off from the race to bolster the prospect of the party’s official candidate Ram Sahay.
“Leaders are closer to agreeing on Ram Sahay’s candidacy,” said Haribol Gajurel, political adviser to Prime Minister Dahal. “Final decision will be taken tomorrow [Thursday].”
As per the election code of conduct, no political party can publicly back any candidate.
But on Wednesday morning, a meeting of the Nepali Congress decided to support Ram Sahay’s candidacy and the decision was read out to the press by the party’s spokesman Prakash Sharan Mahat.
Later in the afternoon, the CPN-UML filed a complaint against the Nepali Congress at the office of the Election Commission accusing the party of violating the election code of conduct.
CPN-UML whip Mahesh Bartuala registered the complaint saying the Congress also violated the electoral silence period restrictions.
Following the complaint, the Election Commission has ordered the Nepali Congress to submit an explanation within 24 hours.
The commission has ordered the Congress to provide a copy of the party’s decision that was read out to the press by spokesman Mahat.
Although Congress announced its support to Janata Samajbadi’s Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav, the 10-party alliance has yet to agree on his candidacy.
“We held a positive discussion on Wednesday, but failed to arrive at a conclusion,” Shakti Basnet, deputy general secretary of the CPN (Maoist Centre), told the Post. “More discussion will be held Thursday.”
Outside the ruling alliance, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party has decided not to support any candidate and skip the vote. Last week also, the party abstained from voting in the presidential election. Previously, leaders of the pro-monarchy party had said casting votes in the presidential election would go against the party’s political line.
The Rastriya Swatantra Party, another political party which is not in the government but supports the government, has yet to decide on who to support for Vice President. In last week’s presidential election, the party voted for the Congress nominee Ram Chandra Paudel.
“We want to see a woman elected as Vice President, so might vote accordingly,” an RSP leader said, adding, “But the party will take an official decision ahead of the election.”