Govt withdraws both ordinances

controversial ordinances related to political parties and constitutional council

KATHMANDU, April 24: Following the pressure from both the ruling and opposition parties, the government has decided to withdraw the controversial ordinances related to Political Parties and Constitutional Council.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held in Baluwatar took the decision.

The Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Monday had suddenly introduced the two ordinances shaking the national politics including the ruling party to the root.

The ordinance related to the Political Parties sought an amendment to Political Parties Act paving way for a party to split with 40 percent support from either the party central committee or the parliamentary party while the ordinance related to the Constitutional Council allowed the body to convene a meeting even in the absence of opposition parties.

The ruling party itself expressed serious reservation to both the ordinances saying they could put the party at risk and the ordinances were brought without discussing with the party and the prime minister to drop the ordinances, but President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s approval arrived in the middle of the meeting.

Main opposition party Nepali Congress, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Sajha Party, Samajbadi Party (now Janata Samajbadi) other parties expressed concerns over the prime minister intention toward introducing the ordinances. They also slammed the prime minister’s move as against the spirit of the constitution and attempt to destabilize the national politics.

Moreover, two days after the ordinances were issued, a section of Samajbadi Party lawmakers dissatisfied with chair Upendra Yadav were “forcefully taken” to a hotel in Kathmandu “at the direct order of the prime minister” and were persuaded the split the Samjbadi Party taking advantage of the amendment. According to sources, Samajbadi Vice-chair Renu Yadav was offered the position of deputy-prime minister and two ministerial berths to at least two lawmakers in exchange.

But, in response, the Samajbadi Party and the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal leaders held a joint meeting and gave shape to their long-planned merger announcing a surprise merger at midnight. The new party Janata Samajbadi Party was registered at the Election Commission next morning.

The prime minister tried to clarify his move as “not intended to split the Nepal Communist Party” and, on Thursday, assured he would withdraw the ordinances during separate meetings with another chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The party Secretariat had also exerted pressure on Oli yesterday evening to withdraw the ordinances.