Nepal PM Prachanda to face floor test on July 12 after key ally’s withdrawal of support

Kathmandu, Jul 5 : Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, who lost support from two major alliance partners earlier this week, is set to seek a vote of confidence from the House of Representatives on July 12, it was announced on Thursday.
The prime minister sent a letter to the Parliament Secretariat asking the latter to make arrangements for the vote, local media reported.
“Dahal chose to go for the floor test by the article 100(2) of the Constitution which says ‘if the political party which the prime minister represents is divided or a political party in coalition government withdraws its support, the prime minister shall table a motion in the House of Representatives for a vote of confidence within thirty days,’” The Kathmandu Post reported.
Earlier, Prachanda had announced that he would not quit after the resignation of eight Cabinet ministers belonging to the largest party and instead face a vote of confidence in Parliament.
His announcement was prompted after Nepali Congress (NC) president Sher Bahadur Deuba and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) chairman K P Sharma Oli, both former premiers, inked a power-sharing deal on Monday night to form a new NC-UML alliance government.
The Nepali Congress, which is the largest party in the 275-member House of Representatives (HoR), has 89 seats, while CPN-UML has 78 seats. Prachanda’s party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre (CPN-MC), has 32 seats.
The CPN-Unified Socialist (CPN-US), which has 10 seats in the Lower House, has said it will vote in favour of the Prachanda-led government. Despite that support, Prachanda enjoys support from just 63 members of the HoR.
He requires 138 votes for the government to win the vote of confidence in the House.
This will be the fifth time Prachanda, 69, will seek a vote of confidence within a term of one and a half years.
Nepal has had 13 governments in the last 16 years, indicating the fragile nature of the Himalayan nation’s political system. (PTI)

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