Govt treads gingerly on ordinances in pipeline

KATHMANDU: Once bitten twice shy. That seems to be the case with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s government, as it has decided to think twice before forwarding the ordinances that are in the pipeline to the President.

Jolted by President Ram Baran Yadav’s decision to reject two election-related ordinances, the government seems to be in no mood to send more ordinances to the former without carefully weighing their pros and cons and gauging the mood of the President and the opposition parties.

The issues of seven ordinances were on the agenda of today’s Cabinet meeting, but the discussion on the same was postponed till tomorrow as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai sought time for more groundwork, according to Minister of Land Reforms and Management Chandra Dev Joshi.

Ordinances related to the formation of truth and reconciliation commission and commission for the disappeared would require political consensus, and therefore, the PM should reach out to all the major stakeholders, Joshi added. “If an ordinance that concerns major stakeholders is brought without winning confidence of the President, it could widen gulf between the PM and the President,” Joshi added. The Minister was of the view that ordinances related to the appointment of constitutional figures and ambassadors would also require consultation with the President and the opposition parties.

Minister of Health and Population Rajendra Mahato said the government was in regular consultation with the President and there was no fear that the Head of the State would reject any ordinance that the government might send in the coming days.

The government is preparing to bring seven ordinances related to civil service, education, health service, truth and reconciliation commission and commission for disappeared persons. Rift has widened between the PM and the President and the ruling and the opposition parties after the President rejected two election related ordinances a few days ago. The ruling parties blasted the President’s move saying the ‘ceremonial Head of State’ exceeded his brief.

The opposition parties that are urging the President to sack Prime Minister Bhattarai have, however, welcomed the move.THT

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