Kathmandu, Nepal: Withstanding to the widespread protests demanding provincial capitals in the preferred districts of some leaders, the government has planned not to fix the provincial capitals and leave the task for the provincial assemblies. As strike and protests are intensified in different districts including Dhankuta, Dipayal, Birjung, Jumla demanding provincial capitals, the government has made the plan not to fix the provincial capitals to avoid potential tensions.
However, the government has to fix the places to hold the first meeting of the provincial assembly. As per the constitutional provisions, the heads of the provinces and the provincial capitals has to be fixed by the incumbent government even though the leftist alliance has protested to accomplish the government’s task.
Article 288 (2) of the constitution states --the capital of a province shall be as decided by a two-thirds majority of the members of the concerned Provincial Assembly. However the article has also stated that the government can fix temporary capitals to conduct the business of provinces until the provincial capitals are decided by the assemblies concerned.
The government held several rounds of formal and informal meetings with different stake holders including the political parties to seek consensus on fixing the provincial capitals and to appoint the governors.
But the leftist alliance had not only protested the government’s plan to accomplish the twin tasks but also backed to the protesters in many districts demanding provincial capitals in the preferred districts. The leaders of the main opposition CPN UML, which has emerged as the largest party in the recent elections, are forefront in the strike launched demanding provincial capitals in their preferred districts.
As the UML had refrained even from providing any suggestion to the government, it has been mulling a plan to recommend names of governors form the upcoming cabinet meeting.
As the president has to appoint the governors in the recommendation of the government, it is likely that the issue of appointing the governors would face the similar fate of the ordinance related to the formation of the national assembly as the UML has already said that their elected members of the provincial assembly would not take oath of office and secrecy from the governors appointed by the incumbent government.
Interestingly, the leftist alliance has repeatedly been alleging the government for lingering the process to handover the leadership of the government as per the people’s mandate even terming the delay on fixing the provincial capitals as government’s incompetence.’