Key amendment to Political Parties Act: Govt proposes bill requiring 40% MPs for party division

KATHMANDU: The government has proposed a bill in the parliament, requiring a minimum of 40% central members and lawmakers for the division of any political party, along with other provisions.

This move is an amendment to the Political Parties Act, 2017.

Previously, on August 17, 2021, then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had issued an ordinance allowing party division with only 20% MPs or central members.

Following this ordinance, two parties, CPN-UML and Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP), split, giving rise to the formation of new parties: CPN-Unified Socialist and Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, respectively.

The Political Parties Act 2017 Clause 33 had mandated that if 40% of the central members and lawmakers of a party decided to form a new party, those leaving the party wouldn’t lose their status. However, Deuba’s government repealed this provision through an amendment.

With the removal of the clause on September 27, 2021 by the same government on , legal vacuum has been created in terms of party divisions. To address this, the government has presented a bill in the parliament for approval.

On January 17, the Cabinet approved the amendment to the Political Parties Act, and now the bill awaits discussion and approval in the federal parliament.

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