KATHMANDU, Mar 11: After six decades, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has ended political instability to form a government with more than two-thirds majority.
The last majority government was that of Nepali Congress led by BP Koirala in 1959 where the party won 74 out of 109 seats. With 67.8 percent votes on his favor, Koirala was then elected as the country’s first elected Prime Minister of Nepal.
Post-1959, Nepal’s politics remained highly unstable; 40 governments were formed in 60 years. Developmental activities were severely affected and economy relied on remittance which contributes to the country’s 30% GDP.
However, the three-tier elections of 2017 changed all that. Unification of the two communist parties under Left Alliance will now help Oli not only to secure a majority, but also to form a stable government ending 60 years of political instability. The Alliance is also backed by Madesh based parties.
According to the constitution 76 (4) PM appointed in clause 76 (2) or (3) shall have to receive the vote of confidence of the House of Representatives within 30 days of his/her appointment. PM Oli is seeking a confidence vote on the 25th day.
Of the total 274 eligible voters, PM Oli received 208 votes, a 75.63 percent support, highest ever in Nepali politics. Out of 268 present in the session, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has secured 208 votes of confidence from the House of Representatives on Sunday evening.
Besides the UML and the Maoist Center, Oli received support of various fringe parties including the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), Rastriya Janamorcha (RJ), Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and an independent parliamentarian.
The UML and the Maoist Center have 121 and 53 parliamentarians respectively, while the two Madhes-based parties have 16 members each. Janamorcha and RPP have one seat each. RJPN's parliamentarian-elect Resham Chaudhary, who is undergoing trail over his alleged involvement in the Tikapur massacre, and Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara did not participate in the voting.
During the election, Madehsh based parties RJPN and FSFN stood against the Oli. Still dissatisfied with the ‘structural biases’ in the constitution regarding Madeshi people and indigenous communities of the southern plains, they barred UML in Province-2. As a result, UML was defeated by the Madeshi parties in the province.
However, the Madeshi parties somehow forgot their differences and now are supporting the central government under KP Oli. In turn, UML is also supporting the two parties to form provincial governments in Province 2. On the other hand, Nepali Congress has withdrawn its support to Madeshi parties in Province 2.
PM Oli Centralizing Power
PM Oli is determined to form a powerful government by winning a majority in parliament today. To do so, he has successfully inducted vote of confidence from RJPN and FSFN in his favor. Oli is also working to bring both parties on board his new government that will house a total of 18 ministries.
PM has also initiated process to centralize power in by bringing the Social Welfare Council, National Investigation Department, Department of Revenue Investigation and Department of Money Laundering Investigation, INGO/NGO monitoring bodies among others, under the purview of the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
The government’s decision has drawn a mixed reaction, with NC leaders terming it as a beginning of authoritarian rule. It also has become a concern as the party fears Oli’s government would revoke all the decisions taken by the Deuba led government.
Supporters, on the other hand, have welcomed the move with hopes that it would help to curb unwanted corruption in the organizations. In addition, they argue that a centralized power to the PM would help the latter to take immediate actions against wrongdoers where and when required.