News Digest: Domestic Politics & Governance (February 3 – 9, 2022)

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The government declared local polls for May 13 to be held in a single phase after a meeting between Sher Bahadur Deuba, KP Sharma Oli, and Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Local polls, the MCC grant, and other issues were discussed during the meeting. The United States has set a February 28 deadline for Nepal to ratify MCC in the parliament.

Confusion has been created about the five year terms of officials elected on June 28 and September 19 elections of 2017. If local polls are held on May 13 this year, new officials would need to be elected, but the previously elected ones would not have finished their five years terms within that date as per constitutional provisions.

Prakash Sharan Mahat, the former foreign minister, has been elected as spokesperson of the Nepali Congress by party president Sher Bahadur Deuba. Mahat was nominated as a Central Committee member on January 1.

On February 6, a letter written by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Sher Bahadur to the MCC headquarters, requesting time for the compact’s ratification in parliament, and another letter by the MCC headquarters setting a deadline of February 28 for parliamentary ratification was leaked to the public domain.

Kamal Thapa, on February 8, 2022, announced that he will leave the Rastriya Prajatantra Party. Lingden had previously lost the party chair position to Rajendra Lingden, and he had accused former king Gyanendra Shah of interfering with the elections.

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