May 21, 2021 1:09:08 am
Just a week after Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari reappointed K P Sharma Oli as Prime Minister, she has unexpectedly told political parties that they can stake claim to form a new government by 5 pm on Friday.
The order comes on a day that saw Oli facing multiple setbacks — both legal and political. He subsequently decided he did not want to seek a vote of confidence in parliament, which he is required to do within 30 days after he was appointed PM again last week.
On May 10, Oli had lost a confidence vote, but no party was able to put together a coalition with enough seats in the House of Representatives to form a governmet. As leader of the largest party, Oli was again appointed PM on May 13.
On Thursday, Oli’s candidate for a seat in the Nepal parliament’s Upper House — Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa — lost to a candidate fielded by the rebel faction of the ruling Nepal Communist Party-Unified Marxist Leninist. On the same day, the Nepal Supreme Court issued an interim order restraining seven members of Oli’s Cabinet from discharging ministerial responsibilities till further orders. These ministers had defected to Oli’s party from the Maoist party, resulting in their disqualification from parliament.
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However, the President’s decision to kick off the process to form a new government has been criticised by constitutional experts. Oli must resign first for the President to initiate the search for a new PM, constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya said.
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