As Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli is completing his two-and-half-year term at the office, a debate on whether he will hand over the premiership to another co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ for the rest of the tenure of the five-year government has emerged. The fresh debate surfaced following the Dahal’s interview in which he said he is confidence PM Oli will respect the agreement and optimistic about getting the premiership or the party leadership once the Oli completes two-and-half-year at the office and subsequent leakage of the Oli-Dahal secret agreement.
Senior leader of Nepali Communist Party Jhala Nath Khanal, in a television talk show Janata Janna Chahanchan with Reporters’ Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala, argued that both the chairs of the ruling party should respect and implement the agreements reached during the unification. Khanal also said that the party unification has completed at foundation level and the party will appoint incharges and vice-incharges at district committees next. Excerpts:
Will the agreement to head the government in turn reached between PM Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal be implemented?
This is a stable government thus the party can decide make Oli prime minister for the full five-year term in consensus. Or, if the party wants, Dahal can become the prime minister for the rest of the term. It depends on understanding and consensus. The agreements reached while uniting the parties will be respected and implemented because I think, no leaders have the intention to breach the deal because these agreements have made the party more integrated.
Furthermore, various media have reported that the relation between Oli and Prachanda has soured but it is not true. Oli is prime minister now. The party has full support to Oli to make him a successful prime minister. When the time comes, the party will discuss and decide on who will be next prime minister.
About the leaked secret agreement, the party is yet to discuss this. Without discussing first, we cannot reach a conclusion. But I am confident, whatever the two parties agree, it will be implemented. The agreement reached between Oli and Prachanda will be implemented.
The most important thing is, we want stability in the country. The NCP is against the factors that risk stability. I am against it because people’s mandate is that the incumbent government work for the full term and expedite development work and take the country toward the path of development.
If the party decided to continue Oli for the full term, will Prachanda head the party?
The committee will decide on who gets what. The position of the chairperson is not somebody’s private decision and will. The committee will discuss and decide based on relevance, need and possibilities.
Will not it be better if Oli head the government and Prachanda heads the party?
First, we will conclude the unification process. After that, we will hold the general convention. If everything goes according to plan, the general convention will be held next year. Whatever the general convention decides, the party will accept it.
Oli and Prachanda’s individual opinion and desire will not work. Leaders might have proposals. Oli might have one proposal. Prachanda might have another. Bam Dev Gautam might have one. The committee will discuss the proposals and make a decision.
What is blocking the settlement of the differences within the Nepal Communist Party?
The unification process is still underway. Though we planned to conclude the unification process within a year, it has yet to materialize. But, the party has unified at foundation level. Now, the party will decide the incharges and vice-incharges on all district-level committees. After that, the party will run smoothly.
Is the difference about whether or not to allocate to responsibilities to a single person?
Party organization and government are separate things. The environment that allows independent party leadership is a must. One person-one responsibility is beneficial for the long term. But we are holding a discussion on what to do right now.
Some leaders hold four to five posts but some do not have even one. How will the party allocate the responsibilities?
Such difference occurred while the parties were in the process of unification. But we are looking on these matters sensitively so that we could come to a better solution.
What about the formation of politburo?
We are still working on it. The politburo will be formed after Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli returns from Europe visit.
What is your opinion on the budget for the fiscal year 2019/20?
The budget for the fiscal year 2019/20 is better than the previous year. This budget will play a notable role to move forward the development works.
What is your view on distributing 60 million rupees to lawmakers?
The allocation of 60 million to members of the lower house of the parliament (elected under the first-past-the-post system) has been wrongly described. The MPs has not received the budget. Their roles and responsibilities have been increased. This is not the budget they can spend at their will and haphazardly. MPs won’t have total control over the budget. The amount has been distributed for constituency development. The money will be spent on development works.
The recent vacancy announcement by Public Service Commission (PSC) drew wide criticisms that the government body breached the constitution and did not allocate quota for all clusters and that provincial PSCs should recruit staffers for provinces. What do you say?
The vacancy announcement should be inclusive and ensure reservation for all communities. It can be corrected.