Kathmandu, February 27
Nepal’s second largest party in Parliament — the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) — on Monday withdrew its support to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”-led government following a rift over backing the main Opposition party’s candidate for the presidential poll, plunging the Himalayan nation to another spell of political instability.
“A high-level meeting of the party held under the leadership of party chief KP Sharma Oli on Monday decided to quit the government and withdraw the party’s support to the Prachanda-led government,” Bishnu Rijal, deputy chief of the party’s central publicity committee, said.
The prime reason for the break-up of the alliance between Prachanda and former PM Oli was because the Maoist leader decided to support senior Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Ram Chandra Paudel for the President’s post.
Paudel is from the Nepali Congress, an Opposition party, and from outside the ruling alliance. Nepal’s presidential election will be held on March 9.
The exit of the CPN-UML may not immediately affect the Prachanda-led government, which is supported by the NC which has 89 lawmakers in the House.
As Prime Minister Prachanda violated the December 25 agreement while forming the seven-party coalition government and betrayed the CPN-UML, the party took the decision to leave the government, Rijal said.
The UML ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Poudyal and Foreign Minister Bimala Rai Poudyal, submitted their resignation to the PM.
There were eight UML ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister, in the Prachanda-led government and all of them are resigning en masse.
Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RSP) led by former journalist Ravi Lamichhane has decided to continue its support to the government. The party’s high-level meeting on Monday decided to back the Prachanda-led government, said Biraj Bhakta Shrestha, deputy parliamentary party leader of the RSP.
With the three major parties, the NC (89), the CPN-Maoist Centre (32) and the RSP (20), the government has support of at least 141 lawmakers.
Prachanda needs only 138 votes in Parliament to continue as the PM. According to constitutional experts, the Prime Minister must face a vote of confidence within 30 days. — PTI
No immediate threat to govt
- With the three major parties, the NC, the CPN-Maoist Centre and the RSP, the government has the support of at least 141 lawmakers
- Prachanda needs only 138 votes in Parliament to continue as PM; experts say he must face a vote of confidence within 30 days
PM’s visit to Qatar cancelled
Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” has cancelled his first foreign visit to Qatar due to some “important political engagements” at home, officials said on Monday. He was scheduled to leave for Doha on March 3 to participate in a conference of least developed countries.
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