Contrary to widespread expectations, the interim government couldn’t be formed today because of the UML introduced seniority bargain.
Who is senior between Ramchandra Poudel and Sahana Pradhan? Who should come first in the cabinet list? [We mentioned RC's name first based on alphabetical order, by the way.] Nepali Congress thinks its general secretary is senior where as CPN UML firmly believes its senior leader is senior. Poudel is a former Speaker of the parliament and former Deputy Prime Minister where is 79 year old lady started her political career almost 6 decades ago. Her political background is enough to make her qualify for the number second in the cabinet, UML argues. According to C P Mainali of Left Front, a coalition partner, Nepali Congress had expressed its interest in nominating its member on the second position after PM. “At a time when even Maoists have abandoned their demand of appointing DPM from their party and Nepali Congress has expressed its intention of keeping second position with itself in yesterday’s meeting,” Mainali told KTV, “UML’s today put forward a name of the senior former minister and stressed that she should be given the number 2 ministerial position.”
Here UML is clearly acting like a problematic child. After accepting Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala as the Prime Minister who isn’t very well and clearly needs an aide from his own party to run the government it’s childish for the UML to argue for a mere issue like seniority of a minister in the cabinet. It is worthy of mentioning that recently UML had proposed Sahana’s name for the ambassadorial appointment for Russia. Meanwhile, Ramchandra Poudel refuted the report that Nepali Congress had objected the UML’s choice of Sahana Pradhan to lead the party in the government. “Mr Koirala asked me to assist him as a senior minister in the cabinet as he is not very well,” he told KTV. “How could I reject the request of my party president? But Nepali Congress has no problem with Sahana Pradhan. It’s UML’s right to send whoever they want to send to the cabinet.” Poudel hoped that the unexpected problem would be solved through conscious by tomorrow. Another problem came in the form of Amik Serchan who said his party wasn’t consulted while distributing cabinet portfolios. Serchan is DPM and Health minister in the current cabinet. Big four parties have agreed on removing the post of DPM which means it will be almost impossible for him to continue as minister because of seniority problem.
Contrary to widespread expectations, the interim government couldn’t be formed today because of the UML introduced seniority bargain. Diplomats had reached to the parliament this morning to witness the oath taking ceremony. They returned as politicians failed to reach conscious and the meeting of parliament was cancelled for the straight second day. Huge media presence was witnessed in the parliament and at least two TV stations had planned to broadcast today’s parliament session. Prime Minister Koirala will head for New Delhi tomorrow 4 PM to take part in SAARC meeting. Let’s hope, we will see the new interim cabinet by then!