Maoist Centre pulls out of govtIn a move described as unexpected and surprising by its coalition partners, the CPN (Maoist Centre) announced on Tuesday that it had withdrawn support for the government led by CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli.
In a move described as unexpected and surprising by its coalition partners, the CPN (Maoist Centre) announced on Tuesday that it had withdrawn support for the government led by CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli.
It, however, remains unclear whether PM Oli will immediately step down or explore other constitutional options to lengthen his stay in office. Opinions were divided over yet another option—if the new constitution gives the head of government the right to call fresh polls, and if it does, whether PM Oli and his party would take that route.
What is clear, however, is that if PM Oli refuses to step down, he will either have to seek a vote of confidence or face vote of no-confidence in Parliament.
PM Oli’s Chief Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal said that “Oli intends to face the House”, indicating that PM is in no mood to step down as of late Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Maoist Centre leaders claimed that the decision to withdraw support to the Oli government was taken after the party failed to convince the UML to explore the idea of a national consensus government and then hand over government leadership to the Maoists even after half a dozen meetings since Saturday.
The Maoist Centre now hopes to lead a majority government with the backing of the Nepali Congress, the largest party in Parliament.
In a letter written to PM Oli on Tuesday, Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has claimed that his party move follows the Oli government’s continued refusal to follow the spirit of the nine-point agreement and a separate three-point “gentleman’s agreement” between the Maoists and the UML on change of guard.
“We hope that our decision would pave the way for national consensus among major parties,” reads the letter.
The party has also separately informed President Bidhya Bhandari and Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar about its decision.
If all goes well, Maoist leaders believe a new government would be headed by their party Chairman Dahal with the backing of the NC and other fringe forces including Madhes-based parties.
It has been understood that Dahal and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba has reached an understanding on power-sharing and other political agendas including completion of the remaining tasks of the peace process.
But even if the two parties come together, they will still fall short of at least eight seats to prove majority in Parliament and will have to rely on Madhes-based parties. The NC holds 207 seats and the Maoist Centre 83 in Parliament.
At a press conference organised to announce the party’s decision to quit government on Tuesday, Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara said his party would continue to make efforts for national consensus among major parties.
But chances of such a possibility are slim as the UML has made the participation of the NC till local elections a precondition for consensus government.
Maoist leaders said that they decided to form majority government after both the NC and UML leadership declined the proposal to form a national unity government. They said the party was forced to look for a fresh alignment with the NC after the UML looked adamant about handing over government leadership.