Nepal’s Parliament will elect a new Prime Minister on Sunday but that apparently at the cost of the new constitution.
Incumbent Prime Minister Sushil Koirala decided to go against his earlier commitment to quit the post after the promulgation of the new constitution. Koirala is now pitted against K P Oli, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist.
Interestingly, Oli’s candidature has been backed by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, the third largest Party that has 84 members in parliament, and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party–Nepal that went to the poll with pro-Hindu Nepal, and pro-monarchy slogan. What will be the direction of a government that has extreme right and left as its key components in case Oli wins?
Power and plum portfolios have been the dominant guiding factorsin Nepali politics over the years. not principles or ideology . So the RPP-N Chairman Kamal Thapa and Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s trusted comrade K B Mahara may find a berth as Deputy Prime Minister along with the responsibility of Foreign Affairs and Home Ministry, respectively.
If there are no last minute defections or horse trading, Oli will have around 319 supporting him in a House that has an effective strength of 597.
What prompted Koirlala to chose to join the race at the last minute remains a deep mystery. Koirala became the Prime Minister in December 2013 with the backing of all major parties on an understanding that he would quit the post after the promulgation of the constitution. The House missed the initial deadline of January 22 last year, but it came through on September 20.
Oli has reasons to feel betrayed by Koirala, as a gentlemen’s agreement berween Oli, Dahal and Koirala on June 8 had favoured Oli succeeding Koirala as the Prime Minister – a reiteration of the promise Koirala made at the time of becoming Prime Minister.
No matter who wins, one thing can be safely predicted:Nepal will have yet another instable government, the eighth in the past nine years.
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