KATHMANDU, Jan 2: Ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and the main opposition party, CPN-UML, which has emerged as the largest political force in the recent parliamentary and provincial assembly elections, have been exchanging verbal barbs over the delay in the handover of power.
While the UML accuses the NC of not quitting the government even after the defeat in the elections, NC accuses the UML of ignoring the constitutional provisions in its hurry to form new government. The NC has been saying that it will quit only after the new parliament gets full shape. The UML has accused the NC of misinterpreting the constitution to prolong its stay in power.
Formation of the new government in line with the fresh election mandate is likely to take over two months after the final phase of the parliamentary elections. The UML, which appears desperate to form the new government after winning most parliamentary seats under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, has been pressing the Election Commission (EC) to publicize the results under the proportional representation (PR) system without any further delay. But the EC has not allocated seats to the parties under the PR electoral system citing constitutional hurdles.
Citing Article 84 (8) of the new constitution, which states that 'at least one third of the total number of members elected from each political party represented in parliament must be women,' EC has claimed that it cannot finalize the number of women to be elected under the PR category without holding the upper house election first.
But the UML has accused the NC of unnecessarily delaying the formation of new government. "There are no confusions and problems in the constitution; the problem is in the ruling party because the constitution has not told the party to continue to stick to power even after losing the elections," said Nembang.
"However good a constitution may be, if its implementers are not honest, then the constitution will turn out to be bad," Nembang said quoting BR Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian constitution.
NC leader Ramesh Lekhak, who is a Deuba confidant, accuses the UML of ignoring the constituion and trying to form the government from the streets.
Lekhak also accused the UML of giving pressure to the president not to authenticate the election ordinance. "The upper house election ordinance remained stuck at the president's office for two months due to UML's pressure. Had the ordinance been authenticated on time, things would have moved much faster," he argued.
The EC has stated that it will take one month to prepare for the National Assembly election after the government announces the election date. The government has been planning to hold the upper house election in the first week of February, according to government sources. It is expected that the formation of new government is likely to take one week more after the upper house election results are published.