Ruling alliance mulls ‘package deal’ on major portfoliosLeaders say they are waiting for final results of the elections.
As the final results of last month’s parliamentary and provincial elections are almost in, the ruling alliance is mulling a ‘package deal’ on power-sharing.
Definitely we will seek a package deal on which party will fill what positions in the new government arrangement, said Purna Bahadur Khadka, vice president of Nepali Congress
“We have already started talks on sharing the ministerial portfolios among the member parties.”
Khadka, a trusted aide to Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is involved in cross-party talks and closely working with Deuba, Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN (Unified Socialist) chief Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Since no party has received an absolute majority, the country is likely to see a government of around four or five parties under the leadership of either the Nepali Congress or the CPN-UML—the two biggest parties.
But as things stand, the five-party ruling alliance of Nepali Congress is working to assemble a new ruling coalition by bringing a few new members on board after failing to win a simple majority of 138 seats in the 275-strong federal parliament. But there are multiple claimants for premiership within the Congress party besides its chief Deuba, and Maoist Centre chair Dahal too is also eying the post.
The alliance will start dividing high-profile government positions among member parties immediately after the final election results come, according to several leaders involved in negotiations.
Besides the post of prime minister, key positions include the country’s president, vice-president, speaker, deputy speaker and chief ministers of the seven provinces among others.
The role played by the incumbent President Bidya Devi Bhandari on several controversial issues including the citizenship bill, and the questionable actions of then speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota have further underscored the importance of the two positions.
This week, ruling party leaders met Janamat Party chief CK Raut and the jailed leader of the Nagarik Unmukti Party, Resham Chaudhary to include them in the new government. Raut’s party has emerged as a new potent force in Madhesh. Raut himself was elected to the federal parliament from Saptari-2 by defeating another Madhesh heavyweight, Janata Samajbadi Party chief Upendra Yadav. Chaudhary is serving his term after being convicted in the 2015 Tikapur killings.
Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary of the CPN (Maoist Center) Haribol Gajurel said his party is holding its secretariat meeting on Saturday to discuss the election results and the party’s role in the new government.