As Nepal president repeals disputed ordinance, key parties scramble to form cabinet after waiting for months

WION Web Team
Kathmandu, NepalWritten By: Saloni MurarkaUpdated: Sep 28, 2021, 05:45 PM IST

Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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The ordinance delayed the process of cabinet expansion as ruling alliance partners feared it could ease splits in their parties.

The Nepal government on Monday decided to withdraw the ordinance brought by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba which allowed division of the opposition parties, paving the way for cabinet expansion, which has been delayed for over two months ever since he assumed power.

The Deuba government on August 18 had proposed an ordinance that allowed a new political party to be registered at the Election Commission with only 20 per cent support of its leaders whether in the parliamentary party or in the party’s central committee. The ordinance had delayed the process of cabinet expansion as the ruling alliance partners felt it could ease splits in their parties.

Now, following the government’s decision, President Bidya Devi Bhandari scrapped the ordinance. 

"President Bidya Devi Bhandari as per the decision of the Council of Ministers and recommendation of the Prime Minister has scrapped the Ordinance on Political Parties (Second Amendment)-2078 as per Clause 2(b) of Article 114 of the Constitution of Nepal,” the Office of the President said in a statement on Monday. 

“The government has withdrawn the ordinance, but we are not sure what will be the outcome. Janata Samajwadi Party faction led by Upendra Yadav wanted the ordinance to be withdrawn whereas Madhav Kumar Nepal faction wanted the continuation of the ordinance. Both factions are trying to keep their party safe. They are building their own safety net,” a Nepali Congress leader told WION. 

“We intend to form a coalition and hopefully this will help in cabinet formation. Upendra Yadav has not confirmed to join the government,” the leader added. 

Earlier, the Political Parties Act had a provision that any group can register as a new party if it can show it has the support of 40 per cent members of the central committee and the parliamentary party.

If both, the central committee and the parliamentary parties could not get 40 per cent members, the office-bearers or MPs who separated from any party could lose their posts.

The passing of the ordinance not only benefited Madhav Kumar Nepal to separate from KP Sharma Oli led CPN-UML but also Mahanta Thakur faction of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) to form a new party. 

Nepal faction announced their split from CPN-UML party and formed the CPN (Unified Socialist) while Thakur split the Janata Samajwadi Party to form the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party.