Oli’s sudden ordinances rock ruling party

ordinances related to Constitutional Council and Political Parties

KATHMANDU, April 21: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Monday suddenly introduced two ordinances related to political parties and the constitutional council—which took many by surprise especially the former Maoist camp and the leaders within the ruling party like Jhala Nath Khanal, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Bam Dev Gautam who have aligned with another chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ pushing the Oli to the edge.

The ordinance related to the political parties seeks an amendment in the Political Parties Act which will allow a split vote to require only 40 percent support from either the party central committee and the parliamentary party. The existing Act requires 40 percent support from both the central committee and the parliamentary party.

The amendment will equip Oli with a cursor to split the party if needed since he is currently not in the position to secure 40 percent votes from both central committee and parliamentary party, the prime minister has claimed he has stronghold in the parliamentary party.

Soon after a meeting of the Council of Ministers decided to introduced the two ordinances without prior consultations with the party, the leaders belonging to former Maoists gathered at Dahal’s residence in Khumaltar in haste and called a sudden Secretariat meeting.

The Secretariat expressed serious reservation toward the developments and urged the prime minister to withdraw the ordinances given their timing which came when the nation is in the middle of the battle against COVID-19, but the approval from the President arrived in the middle of the discussion.

Oli told the meeting there was nothing more to be discussed since the approval from the President has already arrived. He, however, did not clarify the intentions behind the sudden introduction of the ordinances.

According to reports, Oli had held discussion with Dahal regarding the unease within the party created by Khanal, Nepal and Gautam’s switch of alignment and alarmed the executive chair about the ordinances. He had also held meeting with Nepal a day before.

Moreover, the ordinance related to the Constitutional Council will inherit crucial power on the prime minister since it seeks an amendment which will allow the body, which is headed by the prime minister himself, to meet even in the absence of the opposition party.

The body which consists of chief justice, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the lower house, chairman of the National Assembly and leaders of main opposition parties, is responsible for major constitutional appointments.