Kathmandu, August 16
A meeting of three political parties in the new coalition – CPN-Maoist, CPN-UML and Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum (MPRF) - which was supposed to finalise a power-sharing deal for the formation of new cabinet under the leadership of newly elected Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dhahal ‘Prachanda’ failed to reach concrete consensus Saturday.
However, the participants of the meeting claimed that they were close to consensus about power sharing and would bring out their Common Minimum Programme (CMP) for the guideline of the new government Sunday.
"We are likely to reach consensus about power sharing, drafting the code of conduct and CMP Sunday and make them public only on Sunday," Maoist leader Mohan Baidhya told this daily.
He said that as a saying goes ‘better late than never’, they would mange collective swearing in on Tuesday by taking a concrete decision on portfolio, CMP as well as in code of conduct for the new government. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has invited PM Dahal to take oath of office and secrecy on Monday.
The meeting reached a conclusion of increasing the number of ministries from 21 to 24. According to Baidhya, the meeting had concluded to set up new Ministry of Youth address the needs of the youth. Similarly, the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Industry and Supplies will be separated.
The meeting of the task force has handed over their responsibility to senior leaders as they failed to reach a consensus about the power sharing and drafting the code of conduct and CMP for the new government.
Following their recommendation, a top level meeting of the three party alliance held at Maoists’ central office at Buddhanagr also failed to reach a consensus about the portfolios.
Bidhya said that despite their earlier commitment, some dispute emerged in cabinet portfolio as the MPRF further claimed for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Water Resource. The MPRF has changed its voice while the CPN-UML has claimed for the deputy Prime Minister as well.
However, UML general secretary Jhal Nath Khanal said that the meeting failed to finalise the power sharing deal after Forum laid its claim for the deputy premiership and Home Ministry.
Prior to PM’s election, three alliance parties had reached a consensus that the Maoist would lead nine Ministries - PM, Defense, Education and Sports, Physical Planning and Work, Peace and Reconstruction, Labor and Transport Management, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Land Reform.
Similarly, UML was decided to head the Home, Foreign Affairs, Water Resources, Forest and Soil Conservation, Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Local Development whereas the MPRF was decided to head the Information and Communications, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Supplies and Women, Children and Social Welfare.
With the three party alliance meeting ending inconclusively, the CPN-Maoist central secretariat meeting which was scheduled to be held Saturday evening was postponed till Sunday.