Kathmandu, Nepal, May 4, 2021: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s decision to seek vote of confidence from the parliament is believed as a scheme to move the country toward the mid-term elections. It is suspected that he would not let to form a coalition government but announce mid-term elections if he failed to win the vote of confidence from the parliament.
Prime Minister K P Oli has sent ripples across the political circle by announcing to seek votes of confidence in the House of Representative (HoR) for May 10. President Bidya Devi Bhandari has also already summoned a special session of the HoR as per the recommendation of the government.
The decision of the Prime Minister Oli to seek a vote of confidence has not only fulfilled the constitutional provision but also given an opportunity for other political parties to form the government. However, other parties do not seem confident to form a coalition government as Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Center lacks sufficient seats in the parliament sans support from the Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP).
As the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) was nullified bringing the CPN UML and the CPN Maoist Center into previous form from the Supreme Court (SC) order, the Prime Minister has to take vote of confidence from the Parliament even though the Maoist Center has not withdrawn its support to the government.
As Prime Minister Oli had been ignoring the demand to take vote of confidence, his sudden decision to this effect is taken suspiciously from different quarters. It is suspected that Prime Minister Oli would have wanted to get vote of confidence with intent to dissolve the parliament at again to announce the mid-term election even if his attempt to prove majority votes failed from the parliament.
Leaders close to Oli have a claim that other parties would not able to form coalition government even if his attempt to garner majority votes was failed from the parliament. The ways will be paved to hold mid-term election under the leadership Oli even if he failed to garner vote of confidence, a leader close to Oli said preferring anonymity.
Oli requires 136 votes in the 275-member HoR, the lower house of federal Parliament, to win the confidence motion. The UML has 121 votes in the parliament including the 30 lawmakers, who have aligned to the dissident faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Prime Minister Oli seems confident to win the vote of confidence believing that the dissident lawmakers would not dare to cross the floor going against the party’s directives. As Prime Minister Oli is also the sole chairman of the ruling UML, he would suspend those lawmakers, who violates the party’s directives to vote in favor of vote of confidence.
Likewise, Prime Minister Oli is confident to get votes from the JSP led by Mahanta Thakur and Rajendra Mahatol. It is claimed that the Thakur and Mahato led panel holds at least 17 seats out of total of 32 seats in the parliament.
However, critics of the Prime Minister say that there is no base to be euphoric as the dissident faction of the ruling UML has been waiting appropriate time to oust Oli from the post and JSP still remaining sharply divided to extend him support.
The JSP has sharply divided over the issue of giving continuity of the incumbent Oli-led government. Senior leaders Upendra Yadav and Dr Baburam Bhattarai have opposed to supporting the Oli while Thakur and Mahato are standing in favor of Oli. It is said that the UML and the Thakur and Mahato led faction of the JSP has been negotiating to share the posts in the government.
Nepal had plunged into a political crisis after President Bhandari dissolved the HoR on December 20 last year and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 last year at the recommendation of the government.
Power tussle among the top leaders of the ruling party has not only resulted dissolution of the NCP separating the UML and the Maoist Center into a previous form but created division in the UML triggering political uncertainty in the country.