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Monday, May 29, 2023

Nepal’s opposition parties begin talks to unseat PM Oli

Nepal’s primary opposition party, the Nepali Congress has begun talks with the Nepal Communist Party-Maoist Centre and the Janata Samajbadi Party to unseat Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and form a coalition government under its leadership.

Nepali Congress President, Sher Bahadur Deuba, had called a meeting of the opposition parties on Friday which ended on a positive note, according to party leaders.

Oli is under pressure to resign after his decision to dissolve the house on December 20 and call for fresh elections was overturned by the Supreme Court on February 23. In wake of the verdict, opposition parties had been demanding his resignation on moral grounds but he has been holding fast.

The Prime Minister is also facing problems inside his own Nepal Communist Party-UML as a huge section of senior party leaders have started forming parallel party structures while challenging his “authoritarian” way of running the party and the government.

NCP-Maoist Centre spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha told media that both his party and the Nepali Congress are almost on the same page but are waiting the decision of the Janata Samajbadi Party, the fourth-largest party in the legislature, and still undecided on whether to lend support Oli or Deuba.

Two senior Janata Samajbadi Party leaders, Chairman Mahantha Thakur and Rajendra Mahato are separately negotiating with Oli to extend support to his government in case it falls into a minority.

Meanwhile, the NPC-Maoist Centre that had lent support to Oli in February 2018 has not withdrawn its support so the government still enjoys a majority in the house. It, however, assured that as soon as opposition parties decide to unseat Oli, it will withdraw its support.

As soon as it withdraws support, the Oli government will be reduced to a minority and need to seek vote of confidence. Opposition parties are, however, inclined to register a no-confidence motion to bring down the government.

On Friday, as soon as the meeting began, Deuba told that they have decided to unseat Oli and take a lead to form a new government under the party’s leadership, Shrestha said.

“We have made clear our position that we are ready to support the new government to be led by Deuba and we also asked the Janata Samajbadi Party leaders to make their position clear whether it will support Deuba or not. But Janata Samajbadi Party leaders said that they need some time to discuss Deuba’s proposal inside the party.”

Thakur said: “We have received the formal proposal to form a new government from the Nepali Congress. We will first discuss the proposal inside the party and will communicate to the Nepali Congress at earliest.”

During the meeting, Nepali Congress and NCP-Maoist Centre leaders had assured the Janata Samajbadi Party that once the new government will be formed, they will look into its demands and grievances.

The party has also forwarded some demands to both Oli and the Nepali Congress.

“We will wait until Janata Samajbadi Party takes the decision on whether they will support Deuba or not,” Nepali Congress spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said.

“We will wait for the response from the Janata Samajbadi Party… once they come up with their position, we will move on accordingly,” he added.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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