After withdrawal of support from CPN, Nepal PM Oli seeks vote of confidence


Kathmandu: Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will seek a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives on Monday (May 10) to prove that he enjoys majority support in the lower house after the CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda” withdrew support to his government.

A special session of the lower house of Parliament has been called for Monday (May 10) when Prime Minister Oli will try to win the confidence of the 275-member house to prove that he enjoys majority support, aiming to consolidate his grip in the party.

The prime minister’s fate will be decided by Monday’s (May 10) voting for which the ruling CPN-UML has issued a whip to all of its lawmakers, urging them to cast their votes in favour of the prime minister.

After its alliance with Nepal Communist Party Maoist Centre led by Prachanda withdrew its support to the government, Oli’s government is reduced to a minority one.

There are only 121 members of the lower house with the CPN-UML. However, Oli hopes to garner a majority in the voting with the support from other fringe parties during the crucial voting.

But Madhav Nepal led a rival group within the ruling party, which commands the support of 22 Parliament members, has warned to tender en masse resignation before the voting takes place, according to sources close to the CPN-UML Nepal faction.

The pro-Madhesi Janata Samajwadi Party has decided to remain neutral, not to vote either for or against Oli, during the voting. Main Opposition Nepali Congress has already decided to vote against Oli during the voting.

Meanwhile, 28 members of the House of Representatives have tested positive for the coronavirus. Their swabs were collected recently ahead of the House of Representatives meeting.

Gopainath Yogi, secretary at the Parliament Secretariat, told PTI that arrangements are being made for the COVID-19 positive lawmakers to cast their votes in a separate room during the voting.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

Oli’s move to dissolve the House sparked protests from a large section of the NCP led by his rival ‘Prachanda’.

In February, the apex court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to Oli who was preparing for snap polls.

Oli repeatedly defended his move to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a “parallel government”.

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