Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to seek trust vote

World Monday 20/May/2024 08:30 AM
Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to seek trust vote

Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is set to seek support in the lower House of Representatives on Monday, marking his fourth Vote of Confidence in Parliament within 18 months of him assuming power.

The Federal Parliament Secretariat has included tabling and put in motion, the proposal of vote of confidence by the Prime Minister in it's probable schedule on Monday.

This development comes in the wake of withdrawal of support by the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal.
As of now, PM Dahal has lawmakers from CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist), Maoist Centre, Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), CPN-Unified Socialist and Janata Samajbadi Party on board the cabinet.

The CPN-UML has 77 lawmakers, the Maoist has 32, the RSP has 21, the CPN-US has 10, the Janata Samajbadi Party has seven, and the Nagarik Unmukti Party has four lawmakers in the parliament who will be voting in favour of PM Dahal.

Additionally, three more independent lawmakers are also supporting the Prime Minister.

Dahal, alias Prachanda, will require the support of 138 lawmakers to win the vote of confidence.

According to the statistics, he has a comfortable majority of 154 lawmakers on his side.

Though the parliament secretariat has included the vote of confidence motion in its schedule of probable events for the day, the opposition Nepali Congress is expected to disrupt the procession for the day.

The opposition has been demanding the formation of a parliamentary investigation committee to probe fraud in a cooperative, which includes Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane.

Lamichhane, while presenting his defence on the case on Sunday, dogged the opposition with allegations, which is expected to be defended by the Nepali Congress in parliament on Monday.

The House Speaker on Sunday, soon after Home Minister Lamichhane's addresses, also adjourned the house despite Congress lawmakers demand for a time to question the rationale of the Home Minister's address.

Lamichhane has been allegedly accused of fraud in a cooperative, duping millions of rupees and conspiring with others.

Even as he denied the allegation, stating that he was unaware of it, evidence of his involvement in the fraud has come forward, with the investigation continuing.

Lamichhane had earlier worked with GB Rai, one of the conspirators in the fraud of millions of rupees, before he entered politics in the last election, who, as of now, has gone underground with a police-widening search for him.

An investigative report conducted by Pokhara Metropolis over the alleged fraud in the cooperative has just been completed this week and submitted to the police, where hundreds of applications naming Lamichhane as one of those involved in fraud have been filed.

Lamichhane has been accused of misusing his authority to transfer top-positioned police personnel who have been investigating the case.

Moreover, he has been blamed for misuse of authority by coercing and forcing the Office of Attorney General to give him a clean-chit on the issue of cooperative fraud.

The main opposition has been obstructing the budget session of the parliament since the first day of the session that commenced on May 10. However, the opposition parties had allowed the president to table the policies and programs of the government.

Amid this situation, Dahal has decided to test the floor for the fourth time, following the constitutional provision stated in the Constitution of Nepal 2072's Article 100 Sub-section (2), which mandates a prime minister to prove majority in case any parties in a coalition walk out.

Earlier on March 4, Dahal made a surprising turn by deciding to revive a coalition with the CPN-UML, which caught the largest coalition partner, NC, off guard.

A new coalition, including the CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Center, Rastriya Swatantra Party, and Janata Samajwadi Party, was initially formed.

The following day (March 5), the Nepali Congress formally retracted support for the Dahal government, activating Article 100 Sub-section (2).

A prime minister is required to cross the threshold of 50 percent, which is 138 votes as per the present number of parliamentarians.

The Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal walked out of the government after the formal split and is now in opposition.

The former Maoist rebel leader Dahal came to power in December 2022 when he aligned with his arch rival CPN-UML, duping the Nepali Congress, with whom he had forged an alliance in the November 2022 election.

The vote of confidence on January 10 last year resulted in extensive support for Dahal when he got a staggering 99 per cent vote, the highest in the known history of the Nepali parliament since the establishment of democracy.

A total of 268 parliamentarians out of the 270 present in that meeting voted in favor of Dahal.
Within three months, Dahal dumped CPN-UML to walk out of government again, aligning with the Nepali Congress, and managed to secure a majority in the vote of confidence on March 20 last year.

In the second round of vote of confidence, Dahal got 172 votes out of the 262 lawmakers present at the time of voting. Only 89 votes came in against Dahal, while one member abstained from voting.