Sher Bahadur Deuba took the oath as the Prime Minister of Nepal for the fourth time on 7 June 2017. He was elected as the nation’s 40th Prime Minister on 6 June 2017.
The oath taking ceremony was administered by Nepal’s President, Bidya Devi Bhandari at the Rashtrpati Bhawan in Kathmandu. Seven other ministers including three Deputy Prime Ministers have also taken the oath.
Deuba, President of Nepal's oldest party- the Nepali Congress, won an overwhelming majority by securing 388 votes out of the total 558 votes cast in the parliamentary vote.
• Deuba was the only contender in the election.
• The 70-year-old would be succeeding Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', who resigned last month to honour a power-sharing deal.
• He is expected to form a small Cabinet within a day or two, which will be expanded after a few days. Some of the Madhesi parties are also likely to join the coalition.
• Deuba is taking over at a time when Nepal is undergoing a political turmoil. The country is holding its first local-level polls in almost 20 years but the move is facing resistance from the Madhesi people.
• The inhabitants of the southern Terai region, who share cultural ties with Indians, have also been demanding for more political representation.
Deuba is known for his close ties with India. He was in fact, awarded an honorary doctorate degree from New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016. He is also said to be in good terms with prominent Indian political leaders.
During his previous term as prime minister in 1996, Nepal and India signed the historic Mahakali Treaty for shared utilisation of the waters of the Mahakali river.
Hence, his appointment hopes to bridge the gap created between the two countries over the past few years. His good relations with India could also potentially help in pacifying the growing dissent among the Madhesi community.
About Sher Bahadur Deuba
• He served as the Prime Minister of Nepal earlier in three phases, from 1995 to 1997, 2001 to 2002, and then from 2004 to 2005.
• He was elected as the President of the Nepali Congress with more than 60% votes in the party’s 13th convention in 2016.
• His second term as Prime Minister was brought to an abrupt end when a coup by King Gyanendra removed him from power in October 2002.
• He was brought back to power in 2004 after much political protest, especially in the country’s capital-Kathmandu.
• He was removed yet again on 1 February 2005 by King Gyanendra, who dissolved the government for three years and seized direct power.
• He was also sentenced to prison for two years in July 2005 under corruption charges but was subsequently released on 13 February 2006.
• Deuba has been elected to the parliament from far- western Dadeldhura district.
Addressing the parliament before the vote, Deuba had stated that he would give priority to complete Nepal’s local polls and conduct provincial and parliamentary elections in the country by March next year. He also promised to prioritise the amendment of the Constitution to address the demands of Madhesi people.