KATHMANDU, FEB 05 – A meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) on Tuesday recommended February 10 as the date to elect a new prime minister. The Parliament Secretariat will unveil details for the holding of the election after an official announcement on Wednesday.
The BAC, a cross-party mechanism inside the CA, made the recommendation a day after President Ram Baran Yadav wrote a letter to the Secretariat initiating the process of electing a prime minister as per Article 38 (2) of the Interim Constitution 2007. The president made the request after the parties failed to form a unity government as per Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution within the deadline of February 2. “The voting process in Parliament will begin at 11 am on February 10 (Sunday) for electing a new prime minister,” said Sushil Kumar Shrestha, a member of the BAC.
The Nepali Congress (NC) President and Parliamentary Party leader Sushil Koirala is the lone leader to announce his candidacy for the prime ministerial race. Thirteen of the 22 parties that participated in a recent all-party meet have pledged to support an NC-led government. The second largest party, CPN-UML, has not announced a candidate, while K P Oli has been elected the UML’s PP leader. Leaders say the party is likely to support Koirala in the House. The third largest party, UCPN (Maoist), has announced that it will not join government though will play a constructive role as an opposition party.
The fourth largest party in the CA, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N), has announced that it will remain in opposition while supporting Koirala for his prime ministerial bid.
The formation of a major-ity government is likely to gather momentum from Wednesday as the UML selected its prime ministerial candidate Tuesday. Meanwhile, the BAC meeting failed to make a decision on taking ownership of the progress of the last CA after the UML objected, saying the issue should be decided after the election of a prime minister. Similarly, the meeting failed to form a panel for the preparation of the rules of procedures of the CA and Parliament.