NC, CPM-UML to join national unity govt in Nepal

The parties have also agreed that Bhattarai would resign and an NC-led unity government be formed before May 27.

Kathmandu: A day after Nepal`s Maoists-led Cabinet resigned en masse to pave the way for formation of a national unity government, main opposition Nepali Congress on Friday said that it will be part of the next dispensation, which will be formed in a day or two, along with the CPN-UML.

The number of ministers to be incorporated and the Cabinet portfolio will be decided through discussion and mutual coordination, Nepali Congress Vice President Ramchandra Poudyal said.

"We have proposed a smaller Cabinet with 9-10 ministers with the representatives from four major political forces and other fringe parties," he said.

His comments came a day after top leaders of UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Joint Democratic Madhesi Front signed a five-point deal, asking all incumbent ministers to quit en masse so that a national unity government could be formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to promulgate the Constitution by May 27 deadline.

The parties have also agreed that Bhattarai would resign and an NC-led unity government be formed before May 27. The process of Constitution-drafting will be expedited by resolving all contentious issues within three days.

Poudyal was confident that a full-fledged Constitution would be drafted within May 27 deadline. But before that Bhattarai should resign and Nepali Congress-led national government be formed, he added.

The NC-led government would conduct Parliamentary polls within one year of its formation, he said.

Nepalese parties should gradually develop coalition
culture as no political party is likely to get majority in the next Parliamentary election, which will be held on the basis of a mixed system, Poudyal pointed out.
Political parties have already agreed that the next Parliamentary elections will be held on the basis of the combination of direct elections and proportionate representation system.

On the forms of governance, Poudyal said Nepal is likely to adopt a mixed type of governance, where power is divided between the President and Prime Minister.
"The day-to-day affairs will be run by the Prime Minister and the President will also have certain authority."

However, the parties are yet to decide on whether the President would be elected directly or through an electoral system, Poudyal said.

There should not be more than 6-7 federal states in the new Constitution as too many states might not be economically viable and the federal structure should be divided on the basis of multi-ethnicity, multi-culture and multi-language, rather than single ethnicity, caste or culture, he said.

Although Nepali Congress does not favour a directly- elected executive President who has "tendency to become authoritarian but we are ready to compromise on a mixed system of governance," he said.

"We want the Parliament, the representative body having a key role in the governance," Poudyal said.

Poudyal is the most-likely candidate for the Prime Minister when incumbent Bhattarai resigns towards the end of May to form a government under NC`s leadership.

The Nepali Congress will assume the leadership of the governance once the contentious issue of the Constitution is resolved and the first draft of the Constitution prepared, Poudyal said.

As the Nepali Congress has brought the Maoists to the mainstream politics through the peace process, it is the responsibility of the largest Democratic Party to promulgate a democratic and inclusive Constitution, he said.

Meanwhile, UCPN-Maoist today named its two senior leaders
to be included in the national government, while two major parties Nepali Congress and CPN-UML remained undecided about the names of their representatives to be included in the cabinet.

The Maoists have decided to send party`s Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati to be included in the national government led by Bhattarai after holding the Standing Committee meeting of the party at the residence of party chief Prachanda today, according to party`s spokesman Dinanath Sharma.

However, their portfolios have not yet been decided.

The Maoists could not name other members of the cabinet to represent its party due to the internal feud, party sources said.

The hardliner faction led by Mohan Vaidya `Kiran` has opposed yesterday`s five point deal reached among the major political parties.

The Nepali Congress, which met today, could not finalise the names of its ministers to be included in the new cabinet.

The party is likely to send its names for the ministerial posts tomorrow.
During the Standing Committee meeting of the CPN-UML the members remained divided on whether to join Bhattarai-led government or not.

Some of the standing committee members called for Bhattarai`s resignation and scrapping of the four point deal reached among the Joint Democratic Madhesi Morcha and the Maoists at the time of the formation of the coalition government in August, before joining the national government.



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