Nepal Govt vows to oppose special House session

Maoists plan for motion to end ongoing process of Prime Ministerial election.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s ruling alliance on Saturday decided to oppose the main Opposition Maoists` decision for a special parliament session to elect a new prime minister, amid a standoff among the political parties.

The Maoists plan to table a motion on Sunday to end the ongoing process of Prime Ministerial election and begin a fresh process. The main Opposition also seeks to change the law regarding the election of the Prime Minister.

The 12-ruling alliance has decided to reject the Maoists proposal, said Sunil Manandhar, general secretary of Nepal Communist Party-United.

The coalition, including Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Madhesi Peoples Right Forum-Democratic, Terai Madhes Democratic Party and CPN-United have decided to vote against the Maoists’ motion on Sunday, Manandhar said.
Senior CPN-UML leader Pradip Gyawali said the ruling alliance yesterday agreed to vote out the the Maoists’ motion.

He said that the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML should sit together and decide who would lead the next government. Some 187 lawmakers of UCPN-Maoist and eight smaller parties have submitted a written request to President Ram Baran Yadav to summon Parliament, which has failed to elect a new premier nearly six months after Madhav Kumar Nepal quit amid intense pressure from the former rebels.

As per constitutional provision, the President must call the Special session if one fourth of lawmakers support such a decision.
Manandhar said the ruling alliance was for a regular session to end the deadlock.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats, while Nepali Congress (NC) has 114 members in the House.

The CPN-UML, the third largest party with a strength of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combined strength of some 80 lawmakers and other smaller parties have called for a national government.

The coalition caretaker government`s plan to oppose the Maoists decision comes amid a landmark Supreme Court ruling that lawmakers in parliament cannot choose to remain neutral or desist from casting their votes in the run-off poll.

A special bench of Justices Bal Ram KC, Sushila Karki and Bharat Raj Upreti ruled that lawmakers attending the parliamentary session during the election for a prime minister cannot remain neutral or desist from casting their votes.

In a series of run-off polls since June 30, the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML) lawmakers have chosen not to vote for a prime minister while Madhesi parties opted to stay neutral.

Acting on a request from the Maoists, President Yadav last week called a regualr session of Parliament from December 19 in a bid to break the political deadlock over failure of lawmakers to elect a new leader despite 16 rounds of polls.