From the Kathmandu Press: Sunday, January 28, 2018

All major Nepali and English newspapers published from Kathmandu on Sunday have prioritised contemporary political issues including internal and inter-party discussions going in and among parties for formation of provincial governments and National Assembly elections. The left alliance, consisting of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre, is struggling hard to distribute key positions they will get between the parties. On the other hand, their proposed unification is getting further delayed with the issue of power sharing getting their attention.

Some other socio-cultural and economic issues have also been published on the front page of major newspapers today.


Left alliance ‘okays’ power sharing proposal

File: KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Whereas Janata Post says the two parties have finalised a deal on power sharing for key positions including the president, the vice-president, the speaker, the deputy speaker and six provincial chief ministers; The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times say they have reached quite close to the deal and the agreement is likely to be finalised and shared today.

Janata Post claims the UML will take the president, the deputy speaker and four chief ministers whereas the Maoist Centre will get the vice-president, the speaker and two chief ministers. Likewise, they are discussing three options for leadership management of the unified party, according to the report.

According to The Himalayan Times, top leaders of the party—KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal—have directed the joint task force to finalise the power sharing model as soon as possible. The Kathmandu Post says task force members UML’s Subas Chandra Nembang and Maoist Centre’s Ram Bahadur Thapa had consulted their respective chairmen about agreements made so far.

Annapurna Post and Republica have published analyses on why the two parties’ proposed unification has failed to get momentum. Whereas Republica says, “The two parties still appear poles apart on leadership, organisation and ideology of the merged entity,” Annapurna Post comments that Oli and Dahal also have different plans for the merger.

UML leaders expedite lobbying chief ministers’ positions

File image: CPN-UML Central Office in Dhumbarahi

Nagarik, Naya Patrika and Republica say many leaders of the parties that are likely to lead provincial governments have begun lobbying for chief ministers’ positions as almost all province chiefs have called provincial assembly sessions.

Nagarik says UML leaders have begun meeting top leaders of the party and provincial lawmakers whereas some have changed their factions in the party to turn the table on their side. The UML’s provincial parliamentary party in Province 5 has already elected Shankar Pokhrel as the leader and his candidacy is likely to be undisputed, but the party, which is expected to lead at least three other provincial governments is yet to do so, according to the report. Naya Patrika adds other leaders aspiring to head provincial governments are in the mood to fight elections to get picked as the provincial parliamentary party leaders so that their claims get stronger.

Republica says aspirants in the UML and the Maoist Centre have stationed themselves in the capital of late and are visiting their chiefs repeatedly.

UML candidate’s nomination cancelled

File: Election Commission

Gorkhapatra says the Election Commission has cancelled the candidacy of Ram Bahadur Thapa, who had filed his nominations for National Assembly membership on behalf of the CPN-UML in Province 4 under the people with disability quote. The report says the candidacy was cancelled after finding that the candidate acquired the disability identity card after filing the nomination.

Janata Post says with the cancellation of  Thapa’s nomination, Nepali Congress candidate Prakash Pantha is likely to be elected unopposed for the position. Pantha had filed a complaint against Thapa, triggering the Commission’s probe.


NOC land purchase: Middlemen leave country to skip CIAA probe

File: Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA)

After the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority began recording statements from Nepal Oil Corporation officials in connection with reported irregularities in the purchase of land to build petroleum storage facilities, middlemen involved in the transactions have begun leaving Nepal, according to a report in Janata Post.

Whereas some agents are hiding in Australia and the United States, some people are still in Nepal and they have been ignoring the summons of the Commission, according to the report.


More than 130,000 convicts absconding

Janata Post lead story for the day says more than 130,000 persons, convicted of various crimes, are yet to serve their sentence and police are searching them. According to the report, 128,839 Nepalis and 1,733 foreigners are absconding. Though the Nepal Police has launched a special campaign in 24 districts of the country, the status of verdict implementation is hopeless in overall, according to the report.

Federal Nepal needs Rs 3 billion more for VIPs’ security every year

Karobar anchor story for the day says Nepal, after adopting the full-fledged federal system, requires Rs 3 billion more for the security of VIP state offices every year. The report claims that almost 10 per cent personnel of Nepal Police have to be mobilised for security of these officials at the federal and the provincial levels.

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