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06/07/24 | 12:41 pm

Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal to seek a vote of confidence on July 12

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal will seek a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives on July 12. The prime minister sent a letter to the Parliament Secretariat asking the latter to make arrangements for the vote. CPN-UML, the largest party in the Dahal government, withdrew its support on Wednesday following a deal with the Nepali Congress to form a new coalition.

On Friday, Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) led by Ashok Kumar Rai withdrew its support to the government. Three JSP leaders Nawalkishor Saha Sudi, Pradip Yadav and Hasina Khatun were placed as ministers in the Dahal-led government. JSP has seven lawmakers in the lower house.

If the prime minister fails to win the vote of confidence on July 12, which is almost certain, he will have to resign. As Nepali Congress, the largest party in the House of Representatives, decided to extend support to KP Sharma Oli, the UML chair, as the next prime minister, both the parties have been urging Dahal to step down as soon as possible.

As the budget 2081 has yet to be endorsed by Upper House, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is adment to face the House of Representatives instead of resigning while CPN-UML, which is all set to lead the next coalition with the Nepali Congress’ backing, has urged him not to take any decision that will have lasting consequences.

Due to frequent changes in the ruling coalition, it will be Dahal’s fifth floor test after being appointed prime minister on December 25, 2022. The prime minister is likely to lose the trust vote this time.

Dahal chose the floor test in accordance with Article 100(2) of the constitution, which says: If the political party which the prime minister represents is divided or a party in the coalition government withdraws its support, the prime minister must table a motion in the House of Representatives for a vote of confidence within 30 days.

In the 275-strong House of Representatives, Dahal needs the backing of 138 to win the vote of trust. But he has only 73 lawmakers in his support, 32 from CPN (Maoist Centre), 21 from Rastriya Swatantra Party, and 10 from the CPN (Unified Socialist), 6 from Janamat Party and 4 members of the Nagarik Unmukti Party.

As per the understanding between the Congress and the UML, Oli will lead a ‘national consensus government’ for a year and a half. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba will succeed him to head the government for the remaining term of the House.

-Sweta Singh

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