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Nepal govt collapses as coalition ministers resign en-masse

The turning point came as coalition ministers from the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) resigned en-masse, retracting their support.

News Arena Network - Kathmandu - UPDATED: July 3, 2024, 11:10 PM - 4 mins read

Ministers from CPN-UML pose for a photo after submitting resignation to Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal at PM residence (Image Credit: PM Secretariat)

Nepal govt collapses as coalition ministers resign en-masse

Ministers from CPN-UML pose for a photo after submitting resignation to Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal at PM residence (Image Credit: PM Secretariat)


Nepal’s government, led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda,” has collapsed following a dramatic two-day political standoff.

 

The turning point came as coalition ministers from the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) resigned en-masse, retracting their support.

 

On Tuesday, the CPN-UML, a crucial ally in Dahal’s coalition, issued a 24-hour ultimatum demanding his resignation, calling it “a respectful exit.”

 

As the deadline expired, the party made its move.

 

Early Wednesday, eight CPN-UML ministers in Dahal’s cabinet, which was formed on March 4 this year, submitted their resignations at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar.

 

They had previously gathered at the home of UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli before proceeding to Baluwatar.

 

“We have resigned and submitted the letter to the Prime Minister a while ago. All eight ministers from the CPN-UML have resigned, informing the Prime Minister that we are no longer part of this government and are withdrawing our support,” said Jwalakumari Sah, the former minister for Agriculture from the PM’s residence.

 

The political landscape in Nepal is set for further upheaval. On Monday night, the UML and the Nepali Congress reached an agreement to form a new government.

 

According to the deal, KP Sharma Oli will lead a new national consensus government for a year and a half, after which former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will take over for the remaining term.

 

Despite the mounting pressure, Dahal has shown reluctance to step down immediately.

 

The office-bearers’ meeting of the CPN (Maoist Centre), held in Baluwatar on Tuesday, decided that Dahal would not resign but would instead face a trust vote in Parliament within 30 days following the withdrawal of support.

 

By Wednesday, the Nepali Congress formally endorsed the new coalition agreement with the CPN-UML. A central work execution committee meeting, held at party President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s residence in Budhanilkantha, ratified the deal.

 

The agreement stipulates that the two largest parties will lead the government on a rotational basis for the remaining three-and-a-half years of the current parliament’s tenure.

 

“The meeting concludes that it would be appropriate for the Prime Minister to pave the way for the formation of a new national consensus government, as following the agreement between Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, a clear majority in the House of Representatives is in favour of forming the government under the leadership of KP Sharma Oli,” read a statement issued after the meeting.

 

The Nepali Congress meeting also committed to implementing the agreement, emphasizing goals such as protecting national interests, controlling corruption, ensuring good governance, and development, maintaining political stability, amending the constitution to strengthen the federal democratic republican system and inclusiveness, and fortifying the economy.

 

As part of the overnight agreement between Deuba and Oli, a committee has been established to propose amendments to the election procedures and the constitution. This committee will be chaired by former Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha.

 

The constitutional amendment drafted in the agreement includes a provision that the Vice President will become the chairman of the National Assembly.

 

Leaders from both the Congress and the UML informed President Ram Chandra Paudel about the new coalition and the planned constitutional changes.

 

During their meeting with the President, the leaders invoked Section 76 (2) of the constitution to form a new government if the incumbent Prime Minister fails to win the vote of confidence following the UML’s withdrawal of support.

 

Prime Minister Dahal, who ascended to power after the 2022 General Elections, now faces another vote of confidence in Parliament.

 

This will be the fifth floor test for Dahal, who has already navigated four such votes during his current tenure.

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