Reactions to ‘gentlemen’s agreement’
There cannot be any deal without the official decision of the Central Working Committee: NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat
Our chairman has told us that there has not been any understanding with the NC and the UML about post-constitution power-sharing: UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha
It is obvious that the UML will lead the new government: UML leader Pradeep Gyawali
Leaders from both the parties said top leaders reached the understanding without consultation in their parties. A senior NC leader said Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had the “understanding” a few days before the June 8 deal.
According to it, a UML-led government would be formed after the promulgation of the new constitution–possibly by mid-July as the leaders claim, while the new President would be from the NC. While the UCPN (Maoist) would get the Speaker’s post, the Vice President’s seat would go to the Madhes-based parties.
UML leaders, however, said the ‘understanding’ should be implemented without any hesitation. But leaders from the NC, the largest party, said there cannot be any deal without an official decision from their Central Working Committee (CWC).
NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat, a leader close to senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, said there cannot be any deal without the official decision of the CWC.
UCPN (Maoist) leaders said though they do not claim the government leadership, there had been no understanding about supporting KP Oli for the PM’s post. Maoist leaders added that they would agree if the NC and the UML came up with a common PM candidate.
“Our chairman has told us that there has been no understanding with the NC and the UML about post-constitution power-sharing ,” said Maoist Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
UCPN (M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Sunday that the power-sharingarrangement after constitution promulgation had been tentatively agreed. Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar also spoke about the deal on Saturday.
Following Dahal’s public remarks, some NC ministers have expressed dissatisfaction that the ‘understanding’ could affect the statute drafting process. If the power-sharing issue emerges prominently now, leaders from both the NC and the Maoist party fear, it will affect the statute drafting process.
NC Joint-general Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka said it is premature to talk about power-sharing when the constitution drafting process is moving smoothly. “All the parties should focus their attention on statute drafting instead of talking about power-sharing ,” said Khadka.
UML leader Pradeep Gyawali, however, said it was obvious that the UML would lead the new government.
During the formation of the Koirala-led government, the coalition partners agreed that government leadership would be handed over to the UML after constitution promulgation. Elections for the President, Vice President and Speaker would be held thereafter.