Published: 17:25, May 20, 2024 | Updated: 20:18, May 20, 2024
Nepal PM Dahal wins fourth confidence vote in parliament
By Xu Weiwei in Hong Kong
Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, Dec 2, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (PHOTO / AP)

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal once again secured a vote of confidence from his nation’s lower house of parliament — the House of Representatives (HoR) — on May 20, the fourth within 18 months since he took office, Nepali media reported.

In the 275-member HoR, Dahal won 157 votes in favor, against the 138 required. A total of 158 lawmakers took part in the voting process, according to the Kathmandu based myrepublica.com.

Dahal took the vote of confidence from the HoR as per the Article 100 (2) of Nepal’s Constitution. 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

The vote took place amid demands by the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) for an investigation into alleged fund misappropriation, which involves Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane. The budget session commenced on May 10, but the NC had been obstructing it. On May 20, the opposition party boycotted voting.

READ MORE: Nepal PM wins confidence vote after forming new coalition

Before the vote, Dahal was confident about proving his majority. “There is no doubt that my government will survive the floor test,” Dahal was quoted by Press Trust of India news agency as saying on May 18 at a ruling party event in Nepal’s capital. “The differences between the ruling alliance and opposition parties will be sorted out through dialogue,” he said.

Dahal took the vote of confidence from the HoR as per the Article 100 (2) of Nepal’s Constitution. 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.

On May 13, Janata Samajbabi Party Nepal (JSPN) quit the coalition government, one week after the party split up. On May 6, Federal Council Chair of JSPN, Ashok Rai, registered a new Janata Samajbadi Party with seven lawmakers. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav, leader of the party, and Deepak Karki, state minister for health and population from the party, tendered their resignations to the prime minister. The JSPN party said that it quit the government because of the changed political context, according to a statement.

Dahal took office as the head of a coalition government in December 2022 after no single party won a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament in the general election held in November of that year, and he has had different coalition partners ever since

On the evening of May 13, hours after the JSPN quit, a splinter party joined the coalition government of Nepal. Dahal introduced to his cabinet two ministers from the Janata Samajbadi Party, which split from the JSPN a week earlier with seven lawmakers. According to a statement from the President's Office, Pradip Yadav and Hasina Khan had taken office as minister of health and population and state minister of health and population, respectively, posts vacated by the JSPN earlier in the day.

READ MORE: Nepal's Dahal set to face parliamentary confidence vote

The prime minister belongs to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), which ranks as the third largest party in the HoR. Dahal earlier sought a vote of confidence for the third time on March 13, after the NC withdrew its support. Previously, he took a confidence vote on March 20 last year, and for the first time on Jan 10, 2023.

Dahal took office as the head of a coalition government in December 2022 after no single party won a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament in the general election held in November of that year, and he has had different coalition partners ever since.

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

 

Xinhua contributed to this story.

 

Contact the writer at vivienxu@chinadailyapac.com