After Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli lost a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, a major effort was made to form a majority government.
The Nepali Congress, the CPN-Maoist Center and the Baburam-Upendra faction of the Janata Samajwadi Party made a concerted effort to submit the signatures of the majority MPs to the President. It was rumored that neighboring India was backing the Oli government over the issue supported by the Janata Samajwadi Party’s Mahanta Thakur faction.
However, the country has now moved on to another course as it failed to reach the required 138 MPs as per Article 76 (2) of the Constitution to form a coalition government led by Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba. Pursuant to Article 76 (3) of the Constitution of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli, the leader of the largest parliamentary party, the CPN (UML), has again been given the reins of the country.
No matter how persuasive Prachanda was, Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was proposed as the majority prime minister, was not enthusiastic at first as the maths of the parliament was not enough to form the government. He concluded that Janata Samajwadi Party Chairman Mahanta Thakur would not reach a majority under any circumstances as he was cooperating with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. However, at a later stage, about two dozen lawmakers from the UML’s Madhav Nepal faction were preparing to resign to oust Oli, but Sher Bahadur Deuba took the lead in leading an alternative government. He seemed convinced till the end that he would be captured even in the UML government.
Deuba was unlikely to become prime minister. At the time of the split vote of confidence, the number of MPs who abstained from voting along with Janata Samajwadi Party Chairman Mahanta Thakur was less than the number of MPs with Baburam-Upendra. The situation of forming a government with two or more parties came to an end when the suspension of the Madhav faction, which was supposed to resign before the Prime Minister took a vote of confidence from the parliament, was lifted.
No matter how big the contradiction, the contradiction of the UML was and is within the party. It is considered a parliamentary crime to go against the party whip and be absent from the parliament to bring down one’s own party government. The party will have to take appropriate action for violating the discipline of its members, but that will not happen immediately. Forgetting the past and uniting the UML can naturally lead to flexibility on both sides.
After the first chairman of the JSP, Mahanta Thakur, made it clear that he would not support the formation of an alternative government and submitted a formal letter to the President, Sher Bahadur-Prachanda were in the process of resigning the required number of Madhav factions to reach a majority in Parliament. Assuring them that he would help them win the upcoming by-elections, he proposed that all the MPs of Madhav’s party resign, that is, ‘You commit suicide, I will become the Prime Minister’!
However, the UML’s Madhav faction was prevented from committing ‘suicide’ in Karnali as the party had shown flexibility in resolving the dispute by lifting the suspension of leaders including Madhav Nepal. The situation did not worsen further as many federal MPs from Madhav’s party did not want to extinguish the ‘flame’ in Karnali.
After the Prime Minister lost his vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, there was no shortage of accountants in the political market. Losing a vote of confidence in parliament was not an unexpected event for the prime minister. It was not difficult to understand that the political loophole of the vote of confidence has been thrown away by assessing the two situations after the vote of confidence was lost.
Even if all the Madhab factions had resigned or formed a Deuba-led government by forming a coalition of Jaspas, the UML would have had the opportunity to sit in the main opposition with more than 100 MPs, expand its party organization across the country and prepare for local elections. In the past, the UML had the opportunity to appear in the next parliament despite the success of the UML in the election led by Deuba.
Due to the UML’s strong presence at the state and local levels, it could establish the party among the people in a short period of time through their efficient mobilization. When the government was not busy running, the UML-Maoist unity could have made the party organization up to the grassroots level more dynamic. Since the coalition government could not function as effectively as the Oli government, the UML could have directly benefited from it.
However, the UML’s Madhav faction was prevented from committing ‘suicide’ in Karnali as the party had shown flexibility in resolving the dispute by lifting the suspension of leaders including Madhav Nepal. The situation did not worsen as many federal MPs from Madhav’s party did not want to extinguish the ‘flame’ in Karnali.
Even if the frogs of the opposition had arrived, the UML would not have fallen as the sky fell. Even if he stayed out of power for some time, the sky would not fall on UML. Because the UML has a history of growing more when it is in opposition than when it is in power.
In the end, the opposition failed to deliver on its promise within the stipulated time frame. And, KP Sharma Oli has been re-appointed as Prime Minister by President Vidyadevi Bhandari as the leader of the largest parliamentary party in the constitution. And, to try to get a vote of confidence in the parliament within a month and for the rest of the term of the parliament