Ripples in the ruling alliance as Karki gets appointed as Chief Minister with UML support

Published On: October 15, 2023 08:30 AM NPT By: Binod Subedi

BIRATNAGAR, Oct 14: The ongoing struggle of parties in the Koshi Provincial Assembly to form a new government has taken a new twist with Nepali Congress (NC) Provincial Assembly member and a rebel candidate Kedar Karki being appointed as the chief minister of Koshi Province with the support of the main opposition party, CPN-UML.

Karki was appointed as the chief minister after the signatures of 47 members of the Provincial Assembly, who supported his claim for the post, were verified on Saturday morning. Karki garnered the support of 39 members of the UML and eight members of his own party, NC.

Following the verification, the Province Chief, Parshuram Khapung, appointed Karki as the chief minister of Koshi Province on Saturday. The swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Karki will take place on Sunday, according to the Secretariat of the Province Chief. The appointment of Karki, an NC provincial assembly member, comes amid the decision of the ruling coalition partners at the center to support CPN (Maoist Center) leader Indra Bahadur Angbo as the new Chief Minister in Koshi Province.

Karki, who is considered close to the NC rival faction leader Dr Shekhar Koirala, had earlier submitted the signatures of 39 Provincial Assembly members of the UML and eight of NC to stake claim for the post of chief minister.

As per the decision of the ruling coalition, Maoist Center Parliamentary Party leader Angbo had also submitted a similar claim with the signatures of 47 members. However, leader Angbo was not present on Saturday morning when the signatures of those supporting the chief minister’s bid were verified. Amid the appointment of the NC rebel candidate as the new chief minister against the ruling coalition’s decision, a meeting of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba, and NC rival faction leader Dr Koirala held at the prime minister’s office in Baluwatar on Saturday morning decided to give a vote of confidence to Karki.

Talking to reporters at Bharatpur Airport on Saturday, Prime Minister Dahal, who is also the Chairman of the Maoist Center, affirmed that the alliance collectively supports his appointment as the CM. "The issue in Koshi has been resolved, which will ultimately strengthen the alliance," he said. His remarks came amid concerns that the development in Koshi Province could eventually break down the current ruling alliance of NC, Maoist Center and other fringe parties.

Prime Minister Dahal also noted that NC President Deuba and NC rival faction leader Dr Koirala reached an agreement to this effect. "We will not allow the alliance to weaken under any circumstances. Karki has now become the chief minister. He is our common candidate," he said, while adding that the current alliance will continue even as Karki is appointed the new chief minister in Koshi with the UML’s support.

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