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Setback for China in Himalayan Kingdom

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The election of the nominee of the eight parties' alliance including the Nepali Congress, has isolated pro-china forces headed by ex-PM Oli

KS Tomar

is a game of uncertainties besides being an intriguing feeding of weary and fatigued cynicism about the whole exercise of democracy and it holds true to political turmoil in Nepal which is poised to have yet another central government after the withdrawal of support by the former prime minister, K P S Oli's faction on Feb 27, 2023, thereby reducing present Prachanda's government in minority.

The election of eight parties' nominee, Ram Chandra Poudel as the next President of Nepal will pave the way for the formation of a new coalition central government headed by Pushap Dahal ‘Prachanda' as the new combination will have required a majority of 138 MPs in the house of 275.

Out of 52,628 votes, Paudel got 33,702 votes whereas his rival, Subas Nembang could garner the support of 15,518 votes only. Five out of a total of 831 federal and provincial lawmakers were invalid whereas 312 votes from the federal lawmakers and 514 votes from the provincial assembly members were found valid.

The withdrawal of the support by the CPN-UML faction headed by Oli was intended to destabilize the Prachanda government but in vain which has given a big setback to China as the former PM is considered a diehard supporter and loyalist of Dragon.

But The election of eight parties' nominee, Ram Chandra Poudel as President of Nepal will pave the way for the formation of a new coalition central government headed by Pushap Dahal ‘Prachanda' as the new combination will have required a majority of 138 MPs in the house of 275. The withdrawal of the support by the CPN-UML faction headed by Oli was intended to destabilize the Prachanda government but in vain which has given a big setback to China as the former PM is considered a diehard supporter and loyalist of Dragon.

Nepali congress candidate and former speaker, Poudel supported by prime minister, Prachanda, emerged victorious in a direct contest as he was supported by eight out of 12 political parties including Nepali Congress, the CPN (Unified Socialist, Madhav Nepal), the CPN (Maoist Centre, Prachanda), the Nagarik Unmukti Party, the Janamat Party, the Janata Samajbadi Party, the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party and the Rashtriya Janamorcha.

Contrary to Ex-PM, Oli could muster the support of four parties only which has been responsible for the humiliating defeat of his candidate, Rabi Lamichhane. Oli's party, CPN.UML was a coalition partner in the Prachanda government but Ex-PM withdrew the support on Feb 27, 2023, following the prime minister's decision to support the opposition-backed candidate for the post of President.

The president and vice-president are elected through an electoral college consisting of federal lawmakers and members of provincial assemblies whose vote weightage is different.

 

Good news for

Nepali congress headed by Sher Bahadur Deuba had fielded its candidate Ram Chandra Poudel for the post of President which was scheduled for March 9.

Poudel's candidature was seconded by the President of Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, Mahanta Thakur, Congress vice-president Purna Bahadur Khadka, Nagarik Unmukti Party Chairperson, Ranjita Shrestha, Chairman of the Rastriya Janamorcha, Chitra Bahadur KC and Maoist Centre's Hitraj Pande.

With support from eight political parties, Poudyal's victory in the presidential election was certain.

The tenure of the current president, Bidya Devi Bhandari, will end on March 12. Bhandari had earned the wrath of the Nepali Congress when she refused to invite the single largest party in parliament to form a new government in 2020 after the defeat of the Oli government on the floor of the house.

The Nepali Congress, the largest party in the general election with 89 seats had stood by Prachanda during the trust vote on January 10, 2023, and political equations changed when the new prime minister favoured presidential poll through consensus which was rejected by Oli who immediately withdrew his party's support.

 

No immediate threat to Oli

At present, Prachanda's government is safe as eight out of 12 parties are supporting it which include a major opposition party Nepali Congress, Prachanda's Maoists Centre, Madhav Nepal, EX PM's Unified Socialists, Nagarik Unmukti Party, the Janamat Party, the Janata Samajbadi Party, the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, and the Rashtriya Janamorcha. The revival of the Pre-poll alliance of five parties and assured support of four parties cross the mark of 138 required for a simple majority in the house of 275 which includes NC(89 MPs), Prachanda's Maoists Centre(32), Madhav Nepal, EX PM's Unified Socialists(10) and Rashtriya Swatantra Party led by former TV journalist Ravi Lamichhane(20).

EX PM Oli's party CPN(UML) having 79 MPs in parliament stands isolated and it has been rendered irrelevant despite its withdrawal of support from Prachanda's government. It may be recalled that Prachanda's party had contested the Nov.2020 parliamentary and provincial elections as a partner of the five-party alliance led by the Nepali Congress which left the alliance after it refused to give Prachanda any of the two key posts viz. the president or the prime minister.

 

(Writer is a political analyst

who covered Nepal for six years. This is the first part of a
two-part series on Nepal. The views expressed are personal)

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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