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Nepal PM survives 4th vote of confidence

By XU WEIWEI in Hong Kong | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-05-21 09:44
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FILE PHOTO: Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal delivers a speech at parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal Jan 10, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal again secured a vote of confidence from the lower house of parliament on Monday, the fourth in 18 months since he took office, local media reported.

In the 275-member House of Representatives, Dahal won 157 votes in favor, against the 138 required. A total of 158 lawmakers took part in the voting process, the Kathmandu-based myRepublica news site reported.

The vote took place amid demands by the main opposition Nepali Congress for an investigation into alleged fund misappropriation involving Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane, who has denied the charges.

Opposition lawmakers are demanding that the minister resign and have been protesting for days inside the lower house, shouting slogans and trying to block the vote of confidence on Monday.

The budget session commenced on May 10, but Nepali Congress had been obstructing it. The entire opposition — except one member — did not participate in Monday's voting.

"There is no doubt that my government will survive the floor test," Dahal was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying on Saturday in the capital Kathmandu. "The differences between the ruling alliance and opposition parties will be sorted out through dialogue."

Withdrawing support

On May 13, Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal quit the coalition government, one week after it split. JSPN said it was because of the changed political context.

According to a constitutional provision, a vote of confidence must be taken within 30 days after a coalition partner withdraws its support to the government.

Hours after JSPN quit, a splinter party joined the coalition government. Dahal introduced to his cabinet two ministers from the Janata Samajbadi Party, which split from JSPN with seven lawmakers.

The prime minister belongs to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center), which is the third-largest party in the House of Representatives.

Dahal earlier sought a vote of confidence for the third time on March 13, after Nepali Congress withdrew its support. Previously, he took a confidence vote on March 20 last year, and for the first time on Jan 10 the same year.

Dahal took office as the head of a coalition government in December 2022 after no single party won a majority in the lower house of parliament in the general election. He has had different coalition partners ever since.

A new coalition government was formed by Dahal in early March after breaking up with Nepali Congress and rejoining hands with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist).

Xinhua and agencies contributed to this story.


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