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Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Following hectic parleys about power sharing, two largest parties – Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have finally agreed to form a coalition government under the leadership of Sushil Koirala.

A day before the election for the prime minister’s chair, UML has reached an agreement with NC to join the government. The two parties have reached a six-point agreement. The agreement entails:

1.      Complete the new constitution in a year to institutionalise the agreements made since the 12 point comprehensive agreement.

2.      Take ownership of the achievements of the first Constituent Assembly.

3.      Endorse the current president and vice president in the new CA. Make the necessary amendment in the constitution for the purpose.

4.      Support NC-led government under Sushil Koirala.

5.      Elect new president, vice-president, speaker and office bearers after the constitution is formulated in a year’s time.

6.      Prepare NC’s policies and programs for government formation within seven days .

7.    NC will vote for UML candidate for the post of CA’s chairman.

Following the crucial agreement, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala has filed his candidacy for the post of Prime Minister at the parliament secretariat on Sunday. Koirala’s name as the PM candidate was filed by NC Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel and supported by UML Parliamentary Party leader, KP Oli.

“We, the NC and UML, have agreed to form a coalition government,” said Bharat Mohan Adhikari, a senior UML leader.

NC and UML had been in closed-door consultations since several days but had not found common grounds of the issue of re- election of the president and vice president, the appointment of a CA chairman. Differences also existed in CPN-UML’s demand for key ministries, including Home and Finance, in the new government.

The UML has compromised on its demand to hold fresh election of the president and vice president. Although not mentioned in the agreement, it is being said that NC has agreed to provide key ministries to UML, including the Ministry of Home Affairs. UML is preparing to send Vice Chairperson Bamdev Gautam to the government. Gautam is likely to hold the post of Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Minister for Home Affairs.

“We will move ahead establishing consensus with all. As for the election of president and vice president, it will be conducted after a new constitution is enacted,” said NC leader Narahari Acharya.

NC has 194 seats, while UML has 173 seats in the House, as they together form a majority of 367 seats in the 601-member House.

The third largest party, UCPN (Maoist), too, has said that it’s priority is to stay in the opposition and play a constructive role for drafting a new constitution in one year.

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