Kathmandu, Mar 15 (PTI) Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” will hold a vote of confidence in Parliament on March 20 after the culmination of the vice-presidential election on Friday, officials said on Wednesday.
The second round of vote of confidence comes after Nepal’s second largest party in Parliament — CPN-UML — in February decided to withdraw its support to the “Prachanda”-led government in the wake of a renewed political equation in the run-up to the presidential election, dealing a jolt to the two-month-old ruling coalition.
The major reason for the breakup of the alliance between Prachanda and former prime minister K P Sharma Oli was because the Maoist leader decided to support senior Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Ram Chandra Paudel for the President’s post.
The vote of confidence will be held on March 20 after the culmination of the vice-presidential election on Friday, officials said.
“Prachanda” is currently holding consultations with leaders of the ruling eight-party alliance on this issue, sources said.
With the support from the NC and the eighty-party alliance, the Prachanda-led government is expected to comfortably survive the vote of confidence in Parliament.
The eight-party alliance includes the Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre, CPN-Unified Socialist, Nagarik Unmukti Party, Janamat Party, Janta Samajwadi Party, Lokatantrik Samajwadi Party and Rastriya Janamorcha.
In the 275-member House of Representatives, the UML has 79 lawmakers. Prachanda needs only 138 votes in parliament to continue his term as the prime minister.
With the three major parties, NC (89), CPN-Maoist Centre (32) and RSP (20), Prachanda is poised to sail through the trust vote, with support of at least 141 lawmakers.
In January, “Prachanda” had comfortably secured a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, with almost unanimous support from both his alliance of seven parties and the opposition.
He received the support of 268 of the 270 lawmakers who were present in parliament — the highest number of votes a prime minister has ever received in a vote of confidence in parliament.
The latest trust vote also comes at a time when “Prachanda” is facing heat from the country’s Supreme Court for ordering a writ petition against the 68-year-old for claiming responsibility for over 5,000 deaths during the country’s decade-long insurgency.
Prime Minister “Prachanda” is also planning to expand his cabinet after the vote of confidence, sources said.
Meanwhile, Ramsahay Yadav, a leader from the Madhes region, is set to become Nepal’s next Vice President after the eight-party ruling alliance decided to back him for the post.
Apart from Janata Samajwadi Party’s Yadav, 52, CPN-UML Vice Chairperson Ashta Laxmi Shakya and Mamata Jha from Janamat Party are also vying for the post to succeed Nanda Kishor Pun. PTI SBP VM VM
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