News Digest: Domestic politics & governance (October 21 – 27, 2021)

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CPN-UML, as the opposition party, demanded leadership of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament pointing out that as customary, financial dealings of government agencies should be monitored by opposition parties.

During a Standing Committee meeting on October 25, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) proposed a mechanism to provide feedback to the party’s five ministers and evaluate their works.

The House of Representatives meeting scheduled for October 26 was postponed by two days because it conflicted with local level conventions of CPN-UML. House functioning has been delayed as a result.

On October 20, Sher Bahadur Deuba completed 100 days as prime minister.

An Election Observation Committee’s study showed that in previous elections, candidates and political parties spent Rs. 131.63 billion. The government spent Rs. 34.72 billion whereas supporters spent more than Rs. 96.91 billion. There were 15,427,938 voters in the 2017 elections and each voter cost Rs. 8,492. Another study by the committee showed that each voter cost Rs. 4,923 and Rs. 69.42 billion was spent in three phases of local elections.

Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba gave conflicting statements on whether to pass MCC or not. Deuba said that the MCC can be passed in its current form, whereas Khadka said that political parties must reach a consensus before passing it.

The Nepali Congress has proposed appointing Pushpa Bhusal as the deputy Speaker, leaving Janata Samajbadi Party a possible position for state minister. The state minister position could not be appointed to JSP because the Cabinet size has been capped to 25 members.

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