Oli to return as Nepal PM after midnight coalition deal


Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal might resign from the post after a new agreement was struck at midnight in between opposition leaders KP Sharma Oli and Sher Bahadur Deuba….reports Asian Lite News

Eight ministers from the CPN-UML in the Nepal government under Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal are set to resign from the post after a recent midnight overhaul in the ruling alliance.

Mahesh Bartaula, the Chief Whip of CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist) confirmed that all the eight ministers on board the Dahal cabinet will resign today.

“Our ministers will tender their resignation to the Prime Minister today itself. The Prime Minister also might step down from his post soon enough weighing the situation. A new government is expected by evening,” Mahesh Bartaula, Chief Whip of CPN-UML confirmed ANI over phone call.

Ahead of the resignation of the ministers on board the government, the CPN-UML also called the party secretariat meeting at the party office for 3 pm (local time).

With the onset of the government change the CPN-Maoist Center is due to hold a meeting of the Office-bearers to decide about the further roadmap. Prime Minister Dahal is holding talks with office bearers to discuss whether to resign or face the vote of confidence in parliament, Ganesh Shah, one of the leaders from the Maoist Center confirmed ANI.

The Rastriya Swatantra Party, meanwhile, is holding a meeting of its parliamentary committee to discuss ways forward after the recent development. The Nepali Congress on the other hand also has started the meeting of Office-bearers to discuss about the change in political course and allocation of the ministries.

The latest change in the government in less than 100 days of its formation on March 4 comes amid a new agreement that was struck at midnight in between KP Sharma Oli and Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Both the leaders from the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress have sealed the agreement of sharing one and half year’s tenure each changing the course of Nepali politics. As per the agreement, KP Sharma Oli will lead the new government for one and half years and then will hand over to Sher Bahadur Deuba for the remaining one and half year term until the next election.

The two parties that exclude the incumbent government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal-Prachanda also have agreed on the division of the ministries, as per the leader from the UML.

Along with the new alliance, they also have formed a committee to give suggestions on amending the election procedures and the constitution under the leadership of former Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha.

In the overnight agreement, the largest and the second largest party in the parliament also has drafted a constitution amendment agreement where it has been stated that the Vice President would be made the chairman of the National Assembly.

Right before the signing of the agreement, leaders from the Congress as well as the UML also met President Ram Chandra Paudel and informed him about the change in the coalition.

During the meeting, the leaders informed the President about activating Section 76 (2) to form a new government in case the incumbent Prime Minister failed to take a vote of confidence after UML withdrew its support.

Nepal PM Prachanda needs to take the vote of confidence again from the parliament after any of the parties on board the government withdraw support. Dahal who came to power right after the 2022 General Election already tested the floor of parliament for a record four times.

Earlier on March 4, Dahal made a surprising turn by deciding to revive a coalition with the CPN-UML which caught the largest coalition partner, NC, off guard. A new coalition including the CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Center, Rastriya Swatantra Party, and Janata Samajwadi Party was initially formed. On March 5, the Nepali Congress formally retracted support to the Dahal government activating the Article 100 Sub-section (2). A Prime Minister is required to cross the threshold of 50 percent which is 138 votes as per the present number of parliamentarians.

The Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal walked out of the government after the formal split and now is in opposition. The former Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ came to power in December 2022 when he aligned with arch-rival CPN-UML duping the Nepali Congress with whom he had forged alliance in the November 2022 election.

The vote of confidence on January 10, 2023, resulted in extensive support for Dahal when he got a staggering 99 per cent vote, the highest in the known history of the Nepali parliament since the establishment of democracy. A total of 268 parliamentarians out of 270 present in that meeting had voted in favour of Dahal.

Within 3 months, Dahal dumped CPN-UML to walk out of government again aligning with Nepali Congress and managed to secure a majority in the vote of confidence on March 20, 2023. In the second round of the vote of confidence, Dahal got 172 votes out of 262 lawmakers present at the time of voting. Only 89 votes came in against Dahal while one member abstained from voting. (ANI)

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