July 20, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Does Prachanda want to block Oli to lead the coalition?

The Nepal Weekly
July 9, 2024
How former guerrilla leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda returned as Nepal PM

After the resignation submitted by eight cabinet ministers belonging to largest ruling party CPN-UML, the responsibility to run these ministries has come under the shoulder of Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda,” who has decided not to quit the post despite having clearly lost majority in the Lower House.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure Raghubir Mahaseth, Minister for Law Padam Giri, Minister for Agriculture Jwala Kumari Shah, Land Management and Cooperatives Minister Balaram Adhikari, Minister for Industry Damodar Bhandari, Minister for Women and Children Bhagwati Chaudhari, Minister for Drinking Water Rajendra Rai and Defence Minister Hari Prasad Upreti have handed over resignation letters to Prime Minister Prachanda on Wednesday and the Prime Minister on Thursday accepted the resignation.

Prachanda led government has been reduced to minority after the UML with 79 seats in the House of Representatives withdrew its support to the government. However, PM Prachanda has chosen to face Vote of Confidence despite repeated call made by larger parties Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to resign from the post. The Prime Minister will have 30 days to face the Vote of Confidence.

Meanwhile, issuing a statement UML has asked the Prachanda government not to do any work having long term implications. In the statement Party general secretary Shanker Pokharel has reminded that the government has already been reduced to a minority one as two larger parties Nepali Congress and UML have inked an agreement to form a new coalition. The Nepali Congress and UML have signed a deal to form a new coalition led by K.P. Sharma Oli,chairman of UML, and the UML has already withdrawn its support to the government, he pointed out and asked the government not to take any decision having long term consequences.

Three ministers belonging to the Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) led by Ashok Rai in the Prachanda-led government have also resigned from their posts. The party having seven seats in the Lower House has decided to support to NC-UML alliance.

With this Prime Minister Prachanda enjoys support from just 63 members of the HoR out of the total 275 seats. It requires 138 seats for the government to win the vote of confidence in the House.

Political analysts see a tactic behind Prachanda’s move not to resign from the post but to face the House. The Prime Minister wants to block Oli to become the Prime Minister in any way, with an intention to create a tussle between Nepali Congress and UML at a time when the two large parties agreed to make Oli the Prime Minister in the first phase.

The Prime Minister can prolong his tenure by one month and seek vote of confidence technically speaking but on moral ground he should resign as there is clear indication that he lost majority support, pointed out Dinesh Tripathi, senior advocate. The Prime Minister might have played a tactic to block Oli from becoming the Prime Minister, but he would not succeed, said Tripathi.

There is a provision in Article 76 (3) of the constitution that if the coalition government formed under Article 76 (2) fails the largest party will get the chance to lead the government. But at a time when the largest party has already given consent to Oli the leader of the second largest party to become the Prime Minister the Article 76(3) will not be attracted. The new government should be formed under Article 76 (2), he argued.