Saturday, August 22, 2020

Oli to continue as Prime Minister, Dahal to get more authority as chairman

 It seems the intra-party feud in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is finally coming to an end making the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli more powerful and another chairman – among the two – Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, giving an executive power, according to a report submitted to the chairmen duo Oli and Dahal by a taskforce.

The taskforce – formed by the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to recommend ways to settle the intra-party feud has submitted the report to Prime Minister Oli and the party's chairman Dahal today – also suggested to reshuffle the cabinet. “The cabinet reshuffle will help clean the image of the government as it has been labelled as the most corrupt one due to some ministers’ performances,” said a NCP (NCP) leaders, who was one of the members in the task force. “The reshuffle of cabinet and some chief ministers will also help satisfy senior leaders in the party,” he said, indicating the change of chief ministers of Province 1 Shankar Pokharel and Bagmati Province chief minister Dormani Poudel.

There has been lots of alleged corruption even during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic while purchasing health equipment. The health minister and defence ministers have been blamed for purchasing medical equipment through their henchmen, and it cost almost double the market price due to commission and corruption. Likewise, the finance minister has also been blamed for his incompetence in reviving the economy during the pandemic, but being involved in policy level corruption through the fiscal policy for the current fiscal year. "The taskforce has suggested inducting new faces in the cabinet and ensuring representation of all sides in the party while making political appointments to ensure appropriate power sharing,” he added.

The party's Standing Committee meeting has been deferred repeatedly after most members sought resignation of Prime Minister Oli from the both the post of prime minister and party chairman. The six-member taskforce was formed after several rounds of informal negotiations between Prime Minister Oli and Chairman Dahal.

The taskforce led by General Secretary Bishnu Paudel submitted the report at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Baluwatar this afternoon, confirmed Prime Minister's Press Advisor Surya Thapa. The taskforce led by Paudel had Shankar Pokharel, Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey, Pampha Bhusal, Janardan Sharma as members.

The report will be discussed in the party's Standing Committee meeting after Oli and Dahal agree on the recommendations, a Standing Committee member said, without wanting to be named. However, he also confirmed that the taskforce has suggested allowing Prime Minister Oli to lead the government for the remaining term of the current parliament and Chairman Dahal to lead the party with full authority until the party's unity general convention to be held in April.

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