Pushpa Kamal Dahal (also known as Prachanda) is the new Nepal Prime Minister. She sits beside Sher Bahadur deuba, who was the outgoing Prime Ministre, at the “Shital Niwas” presidential building during the swearing in ceremony for the newly elected Prime Minister. This took place in Kathmandu on December 26, 2022.
The newly appointed Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dhal ‘Prachanda’, would seek a confidence vote in the parliament on Jan 10, amid uncertainty regarding his supporters.
The CPN-Maoist Centre leader of 68 years was sworn-in as Prime Minister on December 26, after he walked out of the alliance led by Nepali Congress and joined forces with K.P. Sharma Oli.
The first session of Nepal’s Parliament after Mr. Prachanda was appointed Prime Minister began Monday in Kathmandu.
My Republicanewspaper reported the Nepali Congress, which is the largest political party within parliament, will likely vote for Mr. Prachanda while remaining on the opposition benches.
The paper reported that Prime Minister Mr. Prachanda met Sher Bhadur Deuba, chief of Nepali Congress on Monday to seek his support for parliament.
The paper quoted a close friend of Mr. Deuba as saying that “Mr. Deuba had said that our party would take a decision whether or not we support the new governments after the parliamentary party meetings scheduled for Tuesday morning.”
Purna Bahadur Khokka, NC Vice President and Krishna Prasad Situala was present when Mr. Prachanda met with Mr. Deuba.
Party insiders stated that, although the NC’s Parliamentary Party meeting will take a formal decision on Tuesday, Mr. Prachanda is expected to be supported by the party and remain on the opposition benches.
CPN (Maoist Center), the NC, and CPN had formed an electoral alliance to contest the November 20 parliamentary elections.
However, after Mr. Prachanda’s post as prime minister was declined by the NC, the Maoist Center formed an alliance with CPN-UML to form the new government.
The NC has 89 lawmakers in the House of Representatives (275 members), while the UML only has 79. CPN, CPN, and Rashtriya Swatantra Party also have 32, 10, and 20 members respectively. Janamat Party includes 6 members, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party has 4 and Nagarik Unmukti Party has 3.
As per Article 76(2) of Nepal’s Constitution, Prachanda was named prime minister. He received the support of 169 members of parliament, including UML and Rashtriya Swatantra Party/RSP, Janta Samajwadi Party/JSP, Janamat Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party.
For Mr. Prachanda to continue his term of prime minister, he needs 138 votes from each of the 275 members of the parliament.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Mr. Prachanda stated that he is confident about getting a vote. “I am confident in getting a vote, and I believe the whole House will be united in the vote of confidence,” he said.
The power-sharing agreement reached by the UML with the Maoist Center just before Mr. Prachanda was appointed as the new Prime Minister, will see UML’s candidates elected to office as president and speaker of House of Representatives.
The paper cited sources to claim that there was an agreement to be the speaker for the UML for the first two-and half years, and then the Maoist Center candidate for term three.
The process for electing the Speaker or Deputy Speaker will begin after the vote of confidence.
The constitution stipulates that the Speaker of the House and the Deputy Speaker must be elected within fifteen days of the opening session.