Prospects of Congress-Maoist Centre coalition government endWith the Mahantha Thakur-Rajendra Mahato-led faction of Janata Samajbadi refusing to support, the two opposition parties fail to secure the required votes to lay claim to a coalition government.
The prospects of the formation of a new coalition government ended on Thursday evening, hours before the 9pm deadline given by the President.
After several rounds of meetings–within the party and with other forces–the Nepali Congress, the second-largest force in the Parliament, on Thursday evening said that it is not going to stake claim to the government. The Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists Centre), were trying to cobble together a majority to make a claim before the President a coalition government as per Article 76 (2) of the constitution.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday evening had called on parties to stake claim to the government as per Article 76 (2) after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli earlier that day lost a confidence vote in the Parliament.
“After the Mahantha Thakur-led faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party declined to support us, the chances of forming a coalition government under the leadership of the Nepali Congress have come to an end,” Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba told his party members, according to leaders.
The two opposition parties, however, clearly lacked the numbers and they needed the support of the Janata Samajbadi Party, which controls 32 votes, to form a coalition government.
The Janata Samjbadi, however, was divided, and since the Mahantha Thakur-Rajendra Mahato led faction decided to support Oli, the Congress-Maoist Centre alliance’s prospects of securing a majority faded.
The Congress and the Maoist Centre, with 61 and 49 votes, respectively, needed 26 more votes to claim they have a majority to form a coalition government. The Congress-Maoist Centre were also expecting as many as 20 lawmakers from the Madhav Nepal faction to resign, which would have brought the House strength down to 251, thereby taking the magic number to 126. In that case, with around 15 votes from the Upendra Yadav faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party and one vote from any of the three parties, which have one seat each, in the Parliament, the Congress-Maoist Centre had a chance of forming a new government.
“The Mahantha Thakur-led group of the Janata Samajbadi Party wished to support Oli and Madhav Nepal also failed to take any decision. So there was no situation to lay claim to a new government,” said Prakash Sharan Mahat, Joint General secretary of the Nepali Congress, after the party's meeting of the office bearers. “Upendra Yadav was ready to support us but he could not bring in the numbers.”
With the opposition parties failing to prove a majority to form a coalition government, Oli could now lay claim to the prime minister’s post as the leader of a party with the highest number of members in the Parliament. Oli’s CPN-UML has 121 seats in Parliament.