NC and CPN (Unified Socialist) likely to vote in favor of Dahal in parliament, stay in opposition bench
KATMANDU, Jan 10: The Nepali Congress (NC) is likely to vote in favor of the new government as Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to take a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday.
The largest political party in parliament is likely to cast votes in support of Prime Minister Dahal, while staying in the opposition bench. “Prime Minister Dahal visited President Sher Bahadur Deuba at his residence on Monday to solicit votes in parliament. Prime Minister Deuba has said that our party will take a decision whether to support the new government after the parliamentary party meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning,” said a leader close to Deuba.
NC Vice President Purna Bahadur Khadka and Krishna Prasad Situala were present when Prime Minister Dahal held a meeting with Deuba. Party insiders said although a formal decision to this effect will be made through the NC’s Parliamentary Party (PP) meeting scheduled for 9 am Tuesday, the party is likely to support Dahal and stay in the opposition bench.
The NC and CPN (Maoist Center) had forged an electoral alliance for the parliamentary election held on November 20. But as the NC reportedly declined the post of prime minister as agreed before, the Maoist Center in a rather surprise move forged an alliance with the CPN-UML to form a new government.
In the 275-member HoR, the NC has a total of 89 lawmakers, while the UML has 79 lawmakers. Similarly, CPN (Maoist Center), CPN (Unified Socialist) and Rastriya Swatantra Party have 32, 10 and 20 members, respectively. Likewise, Janamat Party has 6 members, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party 4 members and Nagarik Unmukti Party 3 members in the parliament.
Dahal was appointed as prime minister with the support of 169 parliamentarians including UML, Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), Janta Samajwadi Party (JSP), Janamat Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party and three independent lawmakers, as per Article 76(2) of the Constitution of Nepal. Prime Minister Dahal needs to secure at least 138 votes in the 275-member parliament to continue his term as the prime minister.
As per the power-sharing deal reached between the UML and the Maoist Center before Dahal's appointment as the new prime minister, UML will have its candidates elected as the president and speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR). According to sources, there has been an agreement to hold the post of speaker for the first two and half years by the UML and the remaining term by the Maoist Center candidate.
Should NC decide to vote in favor of the Dahal-led government, CPN (Unified Socialist) and Loktantrik Samajbadi Party will also vote in favor of the Dahal-led government. Sources said it is not clear whether the power-sharing deal reached between the Maoist Center and the UML will be fully implemented in the event of parties other than those supporting Dahal initially cast votes in favor of Prime Minister Dahal in parliament, which is scheduled to begin at 11 am Tuesday.