Decks have been cleared for Nepali Congress President and parliamentary party leader Sushil Koirala to become the prime minister after the NC and the CPN-UML reached a seven-point deal to form a coalition government and to promulgate new constitution within a year.

Both the largest and the second largest parties will have 371 seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly, which also doubles as the Legislature-Parliament.

Following the deal, Koirala filed his nomination for the premiership proposed by NC Vice President Ramchandra Paudel and seconded by UML PP leader KP Sharma Oli, said Manohar Prasad Bhattarai, Parliament Secretariat Secretary General.

Prime ministerial election takes place tomorrow and Koirala, 74, who won the second CA election from Banke Constituency No 3 and Chitwan Constituency No 4, is slated to be the fifth PM since the country was declared republic in 2008.

Before the deal, the two major parties discussed power-sharing for hours at the CA building. The deal was signed after the UML’s Standing Committee decided to support Koirala to become the next PM.

The deal addresses key concerns of both the parties who said it was a win-win situation for them. In order to address the UML’s concern, the deal states that the Interim Constitution would be amended to endorse the incumbent President and Vice President, who were elected by the

previous CA.

To address NC’s concern, elections for all the five posts – President, Vice-President, CA chair, CA deputy chair and prime minister – will be held between the period of promulgation and commencement of the new constitution.

After filing his nomination for PM’s post, Koirala said he would fulfil political parties’ commitment to deliver a new democratic constitution within a year following the policy of reconciliation and collaboration adopted by the late BP Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala.

He said he would induct as many parties as possible in his Cabinet. “Promulgation of new constitution within a year will ensure peace and set the country towards political stability and development,” he said.

Koirala said he would give high priority to good governance, transparency, accountability and corruption control.

Asked why the NC and the UML did not try to win confidence of UCPN-M in power-sharing deal, Koirala said he talked to UCPN-M Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who pledged support to NC-led government. “Dahal told me that it was natural for the NC and the UML to form the government. He said his party would support our government from outside,” Koirala added.

UML Secretary Shankar Pokharel said the UML Vice Chairman and CA member Bamdev Gautam would be leading the UML in the Koirala Cabinet.

It is likely that Gautam would get home ministry portfolio, along with deputy prime minister. As the seven-point deal states that NC will support the UML for CA chairmanship, it is likely that former CA chairman Subas Chandra Nembang would be appointed chairman of the second CA as well. Sources said Koirala would form a small-sized Cabinet tomorrow after being sworn in by the President.

NC-UML deal

• New constitution to be promulgated within a year as per the spirit of 12-point agreement, Comprehensive Peace Accord, Interim Constitution and fresh mandate of the Constituent Assembly

• New CA to take ownership of the works accomplished by the previous Constituent Assembly

• CA to endorse incumbent President and Vice President. For this, the government shall table a bill in the Legislature-Parliament to amend the Interim Constitution

• CPN-UML to support the government to be led by Sushil Koirala of the NC

• Polls to elect President, Vice President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be held between the promulgation and commencement of a new constitution

• NC to come up with a draft proposal on common minimum programme and code of conduct for council of ministers within seven days

• NC to support UML candidate for CA chairmanship.


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