Although the government has announced the temporary capitals of seven provinces and appointed the governors, uncertainties continue over the formation of the new government.
As the communist leaders, including UML supremo K.P. Sharma Oli and Maoist center chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal have been pressing for the early exit of the current government, incumbent Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba appears determined to stay in office at least until the election of the upper house of parliament.
With the announcement of the election date for National Assembly and appointment of governors, the constitutional process is moving ahead. As per the provision of the constitution, newly elected members of provincial assembly have to take the oath of office before the provincial governor.
If things go normally, a coalition of communist parties is expected to form the new government with a thumping majority in the six provinces and center. With so many ambiguities in the constitution about the formation of the government, nobody knows how many more days it will take to form the new government.
The ruling Nepali Congress (NC) has made it clear that the transfer of power would take place after the election of the upper house, now scheduled for February 7. As its commitment, the government has already announced the interim capitals of the seven provinces.
Many expect the resignation of prime minister after the announcement of National Assembly election, but, it has not happened yet. “Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will quit the government once the National Assembly Elections will complete,” said Nepali Congress leader Bal Krishna Khand.
However, communist leaders criticized the dillydallying of the government saying that this was a violation of the constitution. "The government is citing one excuse after another to remain in office. It is undermining the people's verdict," said Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.
At a time when the communist leaders are expressing dissatisfaction over the role of present government, Prime Minister Deuba said that he would hand over the government once the necessary procedures and steps are completed. “I am in touch with leaders of the major parties to sort out the differences over several issues. I will hand over the reins of government once the election results are out in full,” said Deuba.
"There should be a new government in the country within one month," UML senior leader Jhalnath Khanal said at a function.
Notwithstanding all the hue and cry, however, this is not the first time an outgoing government has delayed the handover of power. Past governments including the ones led by late Girja Prasad Koirala, Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Sharma Oli had clung to office even weeks after they had lost the popular mandate.
As the debate is on over the provincial capital, the government has finalized the appointment of the governors and fixed the temporary headquarters of the provinces.
Biratnagar is the capital of Province 1, Janakpur of Province 2, Hetauda of Province 3 and Pokhara of Province 4. Similarly the meeting declared Rupandehi, Surkhet, and Dhangadhi as the capitals of Provinces 5, 6 and 7 respectively.
The government also announced the governors. Govinda Subba is the Governor of Province 1, Ratneshwor Lal Kayasta the Governor of Province 2, and Anuradha Koirala the Governor of Province 3. Similarly, the cabinet meeting named Baburam Kunwar as the Governor of Province 4, Umakanta Jha the Governor of Province 5, Durga Khanal the Governor of Province 6, and Mohan Raj Malla the Governor of Province 7.