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What happened to the “gentleman’s agreement”?

By PR Pradhan

PUSHPARAJ-PRADHANAt the UML standing committee meeting held on Saturday, 4 June, UML chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that there had not been any “gentleman’s agreement’ between the UML and the then UCPNM. However, Oli disclosed the fact that his friends had brought a three-point note, which he had discarded. Later, the nine-point agreement was endorsed between Oli and Pushpakamal Dahal, said Oli.
Finally, the standing committee meeting reached to a conclusion that if there will be an environment for the formation of a national government, the UML will not become a hurdle in the formation of such a national government. That means, UML is ready to hand-over power if Pushpakamal Dahal will become successful in bringing NC and the Madheshi parties in the government.
On the other hand, Dahal himself has also analyzed that he cannot become successful in implementation of the constitution by becoming the prime minister of a majority government after toppling Oli. Dahal is eager to become the prime minister as soon as possible, but he wants support from India as well as support from NC and Madheshi parties.
Earlier, Dahal had sent Krishna Bahadur Mahara, his confidante, to Delhi to request the Indian bosses to support Dahal in the formation of a government led by him. Dahal had learnt to have sent the message that if he will become the PM, he will address the Indian concerns and also respond to the Madheshi demands. At that cost, the Indian bosses had instructed to the visiting NC President Sher Bahardur Deuba to make success Dahal’s mission. In this way,the NC had become ready to support Dahal with the plan of breaking the UML and the then UCPNM alliance along with toppling Oli from the PM’s post.
Dahal stepped back after a “gentleman’s agreement between Dahal and Bamdev Gautam at Dahal’s residence in Lajimpat. From such a betrayal from Dahal, Deuba has been very badly exposed among his opposition within the party and Deuba believes that Dahal is not a person to be trusted. Similarly, Dahal has lost the confidence of his Indian bosses also. Now, Dahal is not sure on how to convince his Indian bosses and also the NC leaders in forming a national government under his captainship. He has not talked to the NC and Madheshi leaders but he is publicly saying that he is willing to constitute a national government with the purpose of implementation of the constitution. The question is that will Dahal become successful to form a national government under his own leadership?
Meanwhile, UML leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and JN Khanal are also trying to develop an environment for them to constitute a national government under their own leadership.
Still Oli, who has said that he will not be an obstacle in formation of a national government, will definitely create obstacles in joining the NC in the government led by Dahal by giving the appearance of a national government.
From the standing committee meeting of the UML held on Saturday, it has become clear that unless there is an environment of a national government, Oli will remain in power. Therefore, Oli is frequently saying that this government will be replaced only after 21 January, 2017, after conducting the election of the local bodies.
According to the new constitution, all the elections – local, provincial and federal parliament – should be completed by 21 January 2017. The constitution has stated that after promulgation of the constitution, within seven days, the Legislative Parliament should elect a new Prime Minister. The constitution has not stated that the parliament can elect another PM as the present PM has been unable to produce vote of confidence in the parliament. Even if Oli will tender his resignation, he will remain the officiating executive chief until the formation of the next government. The next government can be formed only after the election of the federal parliament, in accordance to the present constitution.
The constitution has not given the prerogative to the PM to dissolve the parliament. However, Oli, if any attempt to humiliate him is made by other political parties, he can announce the election date of the federal parliament and continue as the executive chief of the government. If the council of ministers will recommend such a proposal to the President, the President is compelled to approve the decision of the council of ministers. Political observers believe that if pressure will be mounted on Oli to quit, he may use such constitutional provisions. As Oli is confidently speaking that his government will continue until the election of the federal parliament, one cannot discard the possibility of using the right of the Prime Minister provided by the constitution.
Anyway, we can entertain the constitutional tamasha in the days to come!PUSHPARAJ-PRADHAN

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