The last leg of negotiations in Kathmandu over new government formation statrted on Sunday as the deadline set by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to submit the name of the Prime Minister is inching closer.
Top guns of the ruling coalition Nepali Congress (NC) and Maoist Center have been engaged in internal discussions since early morning after several rounds of talks among the parties could not yield any concrete results.
Since no party has won the majority in the November 20 elections, incumbent Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal Aja Prachanda have claimed the post of prime minister.
Maoist Chairman Prachanda has threatened to quit the coalition if he did not get the prime minister post to lead in the first phase. Deuba and Prachanda agreed to split the premiership for two-two years each and one year to be given to the Chairman of CPN (Unified Socialist) Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Splitting the premiership by 2-2-1 years among the ruling coalition is the best option to retain the present coalition, said Bishaw Prakash Sharma, secretary general of Nepali Congress, the largest party in Nepal’s House of Representatives.
Nepali Congress and Deuba fear that if Maoist will walk out from the ruling alliance, it could join hands with CPN-UML, another communist party which has emerged as the second largest party in the House after Nepali Congress.
The alliance of communist parties, including the UML and Maoist Center, is the preferred choice of Beijing. Some Maoist leaders including Barshaman Pun have warned that if Nepali Congress will not let Prachanda to lead the government in the first phase, they will walk out from the alliance and will join hands with UML, which is waiting for the decision of the alliance. If the alliance will split and Maoist will come out from the alliance, we will step in the government formation process, said UML.
After failing to reach an agreement with Deuba, Prachanda went to meet Oli on Sunday evening.