#Exercise to form a new govt begins

Oli tries to woo Dahal to break ruling alliance as Deuba prepares to form a new govt

Published On: November 24, 2022 08:34 PM NPT By: Kosh Raj Koirala  | @KoshRKoirala

KATHMANDU, Nov 24: As the final results of the House of Representatives and provincial assembly elections are pouring in from across the country, top leaders of two major political parties—Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML – have started initiating dialogues to forge alliance with the CPN (Maoist Center).

Sources close to the CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and UML Chairman K P Oli called Dahal over the phone on Thursday. Although the phone calls were purportedly made to congratulate Dahal for winning the election with landslide votes from Gorkha, sources said the calls were aimed at bringing Dahal on their fold to form a new government.

Initial results of the election show that the NC and the UML would be the first and the second largest political parties in the new parliament, while the Maoist Center is set to be the third largest party. While the NC has won 33 seats and is leading in 21 HoR constituencies, the UML has secured victory in 20 constituencies and is leading in 26 constituencies as the vote counting is underway. Similarly, the Maoist Center has won nine and is leading in seven constituencies. 

In the proportional vote count, the UML, the NC and the Maoist Center are set to emerge as the first, second and third largest parties, respectively. Mathematical calculation of the new parliament with 275 members suggests that the support of Maoist Center is a must for the NC or the UML to form a new government under its leadership.

It may be recalled that the NC and the Maoist Center had forged electoral alliance in the HoR and provincial assembly elections. But as the Maoist Center faced defeat in a number of places where the alliance was forged, a section of Maoist leaders and cadres have started questioning whether the NC had fully supported the Maoist Center candidates. 

NC insiders believe that UML Chairman Oli is wooing Dahal on his fold to form a new government, cashing in the brewing rift between the NC and the Maoist Center.

According to Dahal’s Personal Secretariat, UML Chairman Oli had proposed to work together in the days ahead including for the formation of a new government. This is the first phone call between Oli and Dahal after the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) that was formed after the merger between the UML and Maoist Center was dissolved following the court’s order.

The relation between Oli and Dahal has not been cordial since the latter in his capacity as prime minister dissolved parliament in 2021. The phone call made by Oli to Dahal despite their acrimonious past suggests that Oli is keen to bring the Maoist Center onboard his alliance to form a new government under the UML leadership, if not with the support of UML.

The alliance to secure majority seats in new parliament is important at this point of time as parliament is soon going to elect a new prime minister, president, vice president and speaker. The alliance which secures majority seats in parliament will take all these key portfolios.

Sources said NC President Deuba had called Dahal over the phone on Wednesday. According to Dahal’s Personal Secretariat, Deuba had proposed to make their alliance further strong as a new parliament is set to convene in the next few weeks.

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