The seven-party ruling alliance in Nepal is witnessing a tussle over the appointment of the country’s president and home minister. According to local media reports on Thursday (February 2), there are differences between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) on the appointments on the twin positions and they have pushed the alliance on the verge of collapse.
Earlier, the CPN(MC) and CPN(UML) had reached an informal understanding to elect the latter’s candidate as the new president of Nepal. However, the CPN(MC) has already announced a national consensus on the new presidential candidate. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who became the PM with the support of the CPN (UML) on the basis of the same understanding, is now opposed to the idea.
Dahal maintained that the CPN (UML) already has its candidate elected as speaker of the house of representatives.
The differences have cropped up after the Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), one of the ruling alliance partners, threatened to pull out of the government if it was not allocated the home ministry. A report by the Indian Narrative on Monday (January 30) said that RSP’s chairman Rabi Lamichhane met with Prime Minister Dahal to convey that his party will be forced to quit the government if it doesn’t get the home ministry.
So far, the home portfolio is vacant and speculations have been rife that Dahal will appoint someone else from his party as Nepal’s home minister.
Nearly a week back, Rabi Lamichhane was sacked as the home minister for failing to regain citizenship after giving up his US passport. Lamichhane was the deputy prime minister besides the home affairs portfolio.
On January 27, Nepal’s Supreme Court said the 48-year-old had contested the November elections on an invalid citizenship certificate after abandoning his US citizenship. Speaking to reporters, lawyer Sunil Pokhrel said, “He (Rabi Lamicchane) loses his ministerial position and there will be a by-election in his constituency.”
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