Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli yesterday lost a confidence vote, triggering fresh political uncertainty just as the Himalayan nation reels from the pandemic.
Oli, 69, decided to seek a vote of confidence following months of feuding within his ruling communist party and coalition partners.
“If you want a stable parliament you should vote for the continuity of this government,” he said in his address to the legislature before the vote.
But the former political prisoner was able to secure only 93 votes in the parliament instead of the 136 needed.
More than 120 parliamentarians voted against and nearly two dozen leaders from Oli’s own party skipped the process.
According to procedure, the president will now call for parties to propose a new candidate, backed by a majority.
Nepal has been roiled by months of turmoil after Oli dissolved parliament in December, accusing members of his Nepal Communist Party (NCP) of being unco-operative.
The NCP was formed in 2018 by a merger between Oli’s communist party CPN-UML and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) of former rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Two months later, the Supreme Court reinstated parliament.
Another ruling broke the merger and split the ruling party into two.
In recent months, Oli has faced fierce criticism over his handling of the pandemic as the second wave sweeps over the country, with half of people tested now returning positive.
However it was more political infighting rather than his handling of the pandemic that caused him to lose the vote of confidence.
Nepal yesterday reported 9,127 cases, the highest increase yet.
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