From the Kathmandu Press: Friday, December 15, 2017

Most Nepali and English newspapers published in Kathmandu on Friday have highlighted a fresh political debate about whether the new government can be formed before elections of the National Assembly. A meeting between President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher  Bahadur Deuba  held yesterday in a bid to end the deadlock has also been prioritised. The Supreme Court’s order to probe alteration in then DIG Nawaraj Silwal’s performance appraisal has also received attention.


Which comes first: Cabinet or National Assembly?

File: New Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba takes oath of office and secrecy from President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

Though vote counting of elections of the House of Representatives have been over, it has now been uncertain when the country will get next government as major parties and legal experts are divided on whether the Cabinet be formed before the elections of National Assembly. All newspapers have covered the debate in the front page.

According to reports, the Nepali Congress wants to hold polls of the Upper House before the formation of new government as the bicameral Parliament does not get a full shape without the National Assembly. The CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre, who are eager to form a joint government, however, argue that the government can be formed just from the House of Representatives.

The Himalayan Times says not only parties but also legal experts have also expressed contrasting views about if the National Assembly is necessary to elect the new prime minister.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has says if cannot make a complete announcement of House of Representatives polls before the formation of National Assembly as it is not sure how many women must be elected to the Lower House under the proportional representation category. Kantipur says there should be total 33 per cent women in both the houses, and hence the composition of National Assembly will decide the number of women who should be elected to the House of Representatives.

President warns of sending National Assembly Ordinance back

File image: President’s Office, Sheetal Niwas

The National Assembly polls cannot be immediately because a law required to facilitate the polls has not been issued. After failing to forge an agreement among parties about the election system, the government had sent a draft ordinance to the President a couple of months ago. However, President Bidya Devi Bhandari has not issued the law citing political consensus is a must for the same. Yesterday, she told Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba that she might choose to send the ordinance back to the government if the parties fail to forge an agreement, according to Naya Patrika. In response, Deuba said he would make initiatives to this end.

During the meeting, Deuba had told the President that he would quit as soon as the President issued the ordinance, according to Annapurna post.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission says it needs around 25 days to hold the polls after identifying the voters, The Himalayan Times reports. The constitution says an electoral college consisting of local level representatives and members of provincial assemblies will vote for the National Assembly.

Supreme Court ‘revives’ Silwal’s paper forgery case

Former DIG Nawaraj Silwal joins the CPN-UML on Friday, October 6, 2017.

Reviving the dormant debate about Nepal Police IG appointment, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the government to prove forgery committed by then DIG Nawaraj Silwal to earn better grades in performance appraisal papers so as to secure the top position. After failing in his repeated bids to win the position, Silwal has already resigned from the police organisation and joined the CPN-UML. Now, he has been elected a lawmaker from Lalitpur-1.

Republica says the seven-member full bench decided that the report submitted to the court in as petition filed by Silwal why trying to secure the top position was erroneous. The full text of the order has already been sent to the Office of Attorney General, according to the report.

The Kathmandu Post clarifies that the court has not issued a new order, but just delivered the full text of its previous decision. It also quotes former lawmaker and advocate Ram Narayan Bidari that the order does not categorically take action against Silwal, and it is the government’s responsibility to find out who was involved in the forgery.


Five parties most likely to get ‘national’ status

Vote counting begins in Dang, on Friday, December 8, 2017.

While the counting of votes under the proportional representation category is about to end today, it is very likely that only five parties will get the status of ‘national party’ in the House of Representatives, reports Kantipur.

According to the law related to House polls, a party must win at least one first-past-the-post seat and secure three per cent proportional representation votes to become a national party. It is likely that CPN-UML, Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal will meet the requirements, informs the report.

APF to lose millions in APC purchase

Nepal Samacharpatra lead story says Armed Police Force is likely to lose millions of rupees while purchasing armed personnel carriers after some of its officials worked in cahoots with the contractor.

After the force called for global tenders around three years ago, Nepali agent of Hong Kong-based Tradewell Traders Company, Rajman Mishra, was assigned to supply the consignment. But later, the company was founded to be banned, and top police officials including then IG Kosh Raj Wanta and then DIG Pushpa Ram KC had lobbied for purchasing the goods from the manufacturer directly.

The three-year-old case is in the limelight again as the Supreme Court has asked to submit original documents related to it, according to APF spokesperson DIG Balaram Pandey.


Most businesspersons lose elections

Voting is underway at a voting centre during the second phase of provincial and federal parliamentary elections, on December 7, 2017.

Abhiyan anchor story says most businesspersons who had filed their nominations for first-past-the-post elections of House of Representatives or provincial assemblies have lost the polls. While few secured victory, around three dozen traders and industrialists were defeated by their opponents, according to the report.

It adds that industrialists Binod Chaudhary and Moti Lal Dugad are likely to be elected to the House of Representatives under the proportional representation category representing Nepali Congress and CPN-UML respectively.

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