Kathmandu [Nepal], February 21 (ANI): At its party secretariat meeting, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Socialist (CPN-US) decided to vote against Millennium Challenge Corporation Pact tabled in the parliament.
Party spokesperson Jagannath Khatiwada confirmed to ANI that the preceding secretariat meeting of the party decided to vote against the compact which has a deadline of Feb 28 to get ratified.
"There is nothing like using one's wisdom in this. All the lawmakers and the ministers will vote against it. We urge the other parties to vote against as well," Khatiwada said.
Decision of Nepal's third-largest party in the parliament comes amid the attempts of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to woo and convince leaders of other parties to pass it with a majority.
Deuba from early Monday morning initiated personal meetings with leaders of various political parties to weigh the vote in support of the pact.
PM Dueba has been trying to push for parliamentary arithmetic at a time when the ruling coalition partners the Maoist Center and Unified Socialist have said they would vote against the Compact in the parliament.
Sources from Deuba's secretariat confirmed that the Premier still believes that the opposition CPN-UML which has been halting parliamentary proceedings for over four months would walkout before the voting on pact. The UML party has been obstructing the parliament accusing Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota of not taking action against 14 former UML lawmakers.
The House of Representatives has a total of 271 lawmakers, including 97 from CPN-UML, 61 from Nepali Congress, 24 from Unified Socialist, 20 from Janata Samajbadi Party, 12 from Democratic Socialist Party, one each from Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Janamorcha, and Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party.
"Prime Minister Deuba has made it clear to sitting cabinet ministers to either vote in favour of MCC or face consequences," the source informed.
The parliament requires a majority in the presence of more than a quarter of the lawmakers to ratify the MCC Compact. Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki on Sunday tabled the US grant MCC Compact in the parliament.
Earlier, a meeting of the ruling coalition held at the Prime Minister's official residence in Baluwatar on Sunday morning had decided to table MCC in the parliament.
While the Nepali Congress (NC) is in favour of ratifying the MCC, the CPN (Maoist Center) and the CPN (Unified Socialist), are of the view that the MCC needs amendment. The next meeting of the House of Representatives on February 24 will see the discussion on MCC.
After the discussion, the lawmakers will have time to propose amendments. However, such amendment applies only to the comments raised by the Government of Nepal or to any modification/amendment that may be made.
As the alliance formed to fight against the autocracy of KP Sharma Oli hangs on thread, Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has said that US grant Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) would not shake the ruling alliance.
During a meeting with Nepali Congress (NC) senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel at Singha Durbar on Monday, Prachanda said MCC would not affect the ruling alliance at any cost.
Stating that MCC would be decided by parliament and anything could happen, Prachanda said he had discussed the latest political situation with Poudel and reiterated that ruling alliance would not dismantle due to MCC.
Likewise, NC senior leader Poudel also held a discussion with CPN-Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal. During the meeting, Chair Nepal put forth his view that MCC could not be ratified in its existing form and suggested initiating process for amendment of the agreement.
NC leader Poudel, on his part, tried to convince the leaders that all should work together to get the country out of the crisis by engaging in discussions. He emphasized passage of MCC at the earliest to defuse a polarized atmosphere.
Leader Poudel has been holding discussions with top leaders of CPN-UML, Maoist Center, Janata Samajbadi Party and others to garner support for MCC ratification. (ANI)