News Digest: Domestic Politics & Governance (September 2 – 8, 2021)

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A statement released by CPN (Unified Socialist) chair Madhav Kumar Nepal communicated that parties will not speak on cabinet expansion until September 8. The Kathmandu Post reported that the ruling parties may want to withdraw the Political Parties Act, 2017 before expanding the cabinet. The ordinance caused CPN-UML and the Janata Samajbadi Party to split. The parties need to either remain in CPN-UML and Janata Samajbadi Party or join Madhav Nepal’s CPN (Unified Socialist) and Mahantha Thakur Loktantrik Samajbadi Party by September 7.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has summoned the parliament session from September 8. The last session was prorogued by the government in order to introduce an ordinance to make party splits easier. However, the President, as per Article 93 (1) of the constitution on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, has scheduled the parliament session to commence from 4pm on September 8.

On September 3, the Ministry of Finance sent a letter to the MCC headquarters, Washington DC. Janardhan Sharma of the Maoist Center, who leads the Finance Ministry, said that the letter asks clarification on some issues and seeks whether to make some amends before endorsing the MCC. However, the contents and quality of the letter are uncertain.

Gagan Thapa, central member of the Nepali Congress, said that he would contest for the party’s general secretary. Thapa had lost the post five years ago at Nepali Congress’ 13th general convention in March 2016 when he contested against Shashanka Koirala and Arjun Narsingh KC, who were then working committee members.

Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana had recused himself from the Constitutional Bench. The Bench was scheduled to adjudicate Constitutional Council appointments under KP Oli. Deepak Kumar Karki, the senior most Justice, had recomposed the Bench. However, advocate Ganesh Regmi filed a petition questioning whether the Constitutional Bench was valid without the chief justice.

KP Sharma Oli, chairman of CPN-UML, had challenged the Election’s Commission decision to register a new party under Madhav Kumar Nepal, the former UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana has refused to issue the order to the Election Commission.

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