Prime Minister (PM) and CPN Chairman KP Sharma Oli and another chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have met at the PM's residence in Baluwatar on Thursday to discuss the party's candidate for speaker.
"Today's meeting was positive. Both the chairmen agree that the process for selecting speaker should not be extended," a party source confided. "They had a positive discussion about resignation of the deputy speaker and the House deadlock."
The chairmen also talked about the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) during the meeting. The party is divided about whether to pass the MCC Compact through the House or not.
The source added that the two chairmen have yet to agree about the speaker though. They had last met on Sunday and Dahal had not gone to Baluwatar since then.
Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe has been defying secretariat meeting's decision asking her to resign while the party has also not been able to select its candidate.
The former Maoists in ruling CPN have started to accuse that she has not resigned on instruction of Oli while Oli is unhappy after Dahal, senior leaders Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, and CPN Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha met at the residence of secretariat member Bam Dev Gautam last Wednesday.
The House meeting has already been postponed thrice due to the intra-party dispute in the ruling CPN about its candidate for speaker.
The secretariat meeting at the prime minister's residence in Baluwatar on Saturday had asked Deputy Speaker Tumbahangphe to resign even as she had already turned down the request by CPN Chairmen KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal to resign on Friday.
The chairman duo had urged Tumbahangphe to pave the way for speaker election by resigning during the meeting at the prime minister's residence in Baluwatar Friday. But she asked for the reasons that disqualified her from being the next speaker.
"I was active in student politics and am still active. I have studied and taught. What are my weaknesses?" a source quoted her as asking the chairmen.
She also took exception to comments of CPN Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha and chief whip Dev Gurung that the election process has been stalled due to her refusal to resign.
The source revealed that she urged the chairmen to allow her to continue as deputy speaker if deemed incompetent for speaker.
Ruling CPN cannot claim for the post of speaker if the election process starts without her resigning. The senior most lawmaker will then run the House if she resigns.
The ruling party will have to ask Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe, whose allegiance is now with CPN having won the last general election on a CPN-UML ticket, to resign to keep the post of speaker with the party as the Constitution prohibits appointment of speaker and deputy speaker from the same party.
Both the former CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) factions are claiming for the post of speaker. Oli wishes to make former Constituent Assembly chairman Subas Chandra Nembang the speaker while Dahal has been insisting that Agni Sapkota from the Maoist faction should get the post.
The Maoist faction points that it should again get the post it had received during the power sharing before party unification.
Deputy Speaker Tumbahangphe's own claim for the post and refusal to resign if denied has compounded matters for the party.
The post of speaker is vacant after Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned following rape allegation by a federal parliament secretariat staffer.