KP Sharma Oli re-appointed as Nepal PM after opposition parties fail to form coalition government

The main contender for the PM post, Sher Bahadur Deuba, the leader of Nepal's main opposition party Nepali Congress, informed his allies shortly ahead of the deadline that he would not be able to put together a coalition government with a majority in the House.

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KP Sharma Oli was reappointed as the Prime Minister of Nepal by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari after the opposition parties failed to put together a coalition government by the 9 pm deadline on May 13, 2021. Oli would be taking the oath of office today.

KP Sharma Oli had lost the trust vote in Nepal's House of Representatives on May 10, 2021. He will now get 30 days to prove that he has majority support in the House.

This came after the main contender for the PM post, Sher Bahadur Deuba, the leader of Nepal's main opposition party Nepali Congress, informed his allies shortly ahead of the deadline that he would not be able to put together a coalition government with a majority in the House.

Sher Bahadur Deuba's formal withdrawal left the Nepali President with no other option but to invite Oli to form the government again.

Key Highlights

•K P Sharma Oli was reappointed as Nepal Prime Minister after the Opposition alliance of Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) failed to muster required support to form the next government.

•Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari had given the Opposition parties time till 9pm on May 13th to come up with the majority support to form a coalition government in the nation after Oli lost the trust vote in the House of Representatives. 

•However, the opposition parties failed to claim majority government under article 76 (2) of the Constitution. 

•The two opposition parties-Nepali Congress and Maoist Centre have only 61 and 49 seats respectively in the lower house and their combined strength of 110 was not enough seats to win majority vote in the 275-member house. 

•The parties required at least 136 votes to form the majority government in the nation. 

•Though Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba had received support from CPN Maoist chairman Pushpakamal Dahal 'Prachanda', he could not get the support from Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP).

•Another party JSP's President Upendra Yadav had assured to support Deuba but the party's other president Mahanta Thakur reportedly rejected the idea.

•KP Sharma Oli's  CPN (UML) has 121 seats in the House of Representatives, making it the single largest party and closest to the majority mark. 

•Earlier, the dissident faction led by Madhav Nepal within the CPN-UML with their 28 members had decided to resign from the Parliament, paving way for Deuba to claim for the post of Prime Minister. 

•However, Madhav Kumar did a U-turn after his last-minute meeting with Oli and his faction decided to tender their resignations. 

•If the 28 MPs would have resigned then the total strength of the House of Representatives would have been reduced to 243 and only 122 votes would have been sufficient to stake claim for a majority government.

•Currently, Nepal's 275-member House of Representatives has 271 valid members. 

Why was KP Sharma Oli reappointed as Nepal PM after he lost the trust vote?

•As per Nepal's constitution, in cases where no party has a clear majority in the House, the President shall appoint a member of the House as the prime minister who can command the majority in the lower house of the Parliament with the support of two or more parties. 

•However, if two or more political parties fail to give a majority Prime Minister then the President can invite parties to submit the name of a minority Prime Minister from the single largest party as per Article 76 sub-clause 3 of the Constitution.

•Under this clause, Oli whose party has 121 seats in the House, can again stake claim to form government in the nation. 

•However, the Minority Prime Minister will need to win the vote of confidence within 30 days from the date of the appointment.

Background 

Nepal was plunged into a political crisis in December 2020 when President Bhandari had dissolved the House of Representatives and announced fresh elections on April 30th and May 10th at the recommendation of Prime Minister 
KP Sharma Oli. 

Oli’s move to dissolve the House of Representatives had sparked protests from a large section of the NCP led by his rival ‘Prachanda’.

The Supreme Court of Nepal reinstated the dissolved House in February 2021. This was a major setback for Oli who was preparing for snap polls. 

KP Sharma Oli had earlier served as the Prime Minister of Nepal from October 11, 2015 to August 3, 2016. 

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