KATHMANDU, Feb 16: The ruling Nepali Congress (NC) on Tuesday decided to table the Millennium Corporate Challenge (MCC) in parliament for its ratification.
Following the party’s decision, some of the political parties have announced Nepal Banda in Kathmandu and the parties in parliament seem divided regarding the $500 million grant of the United States of America (USA).
The ruling alliance which includes NC, CPN (Maoist Center), CPN (Unified Socialist), Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) and Rastriya Janamorcha Party, is largely divided regarding the MCC.
There are currently 271 lawmakers in parliament including the Speaker of the House. With one independent lawmaker, there are representatives of nine political parties in the lower house of parliament.
The main opposition party, CPN-UML, is the largest party in parliament with 98 lawmakers, followed by NC with 63, MC with 49 including Speaker, CPN (US) with 23, JSP with 21 and Loktantrik Samajbadi with 13 lawmakers.
Likewise, Rastriya Janamorcha, Nepal Workers Peasant Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party have one lawmaker each in parliament.
For the ratification of the MCC, it requires a majority of 136 votes in parliament with 271 members. But currently, NC lawmaker Bijay Kumar Ghachadar and Hari Narayan Rauniyar are suspended, lawmakers Mohamad Aftab Alam and Resham Chaudary are in jail, due to which the total number of lawmakers in parliament stands at 267. In this case, 134 is a majority vote.
What is the position of major political parties?
1) Ruling Nepali Congress with 61 lawmakers in parliament is all in for ratification of MCC. Nc seems ready to break the coalition or oust Speaker Sapkota to get MCC ratified.
2) UML, the main opposition party and currently the largest party in parliament with 98 lawmakers, has not maintained its position regarding the compact yet. But the party has maintained to support NC if it breaks the ruling coalition.
3) CPN (Maoist Center) with 48 lawmakers in parliament has maintained that it will be unethical for the party to remain in the government if it decides to table the MCC in its ‘existing form’. The party has already made it clear that it will not remain in the government if it tables the MCC.
4) CPN (Unified Socialist) with 23 votes in parliament which is likely to follow the path of CPN (MC) has not stated its position regarding the MCC so far.
5) JSP with 19 votes in parliament is divided regarding the ratification of the MCC. Leader Babu Ram Bhattari and the majority of the party’s lawmakers are supporting the MCC while Chairman Upendra Yadav has not stated his position yet.
6) Loktantrik Samajbadi Party with 13 lawmakers in parliament has stood in support of the MCC.
7) Rastriya Janamorcha, Nepal Workers Peasant Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party with one lawmaker each, have vowed to vote against the MCC in parliament if it is tabled on Wednesday.