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Nepal PM to seek third vote of confidence by March 13

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Kathmandu, March 10: Nepal’s Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’ is planning to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament by March 13, days after he forged a new alliance with the CPN-UML.
The third round of vote of confidence comes after Prachanda, a former guerilla leader, dumped the Nepali Congress and forged a new alliance with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) – the second-biggest party – led by former premier KP Sharma Oli on Monday.
According to constitutional provisions, prime ministers have to take a vote of confidence after any ally withdraws support.
Prime Minister Prachanda informally discussed the matter within his close circle in the party on Saturday and the parliamentary party meeting of the CPN-Maoist Centre decided to issue a whip to all of its lawmakers to be present compulsorily in the Lower House during the voting on March 13, according to the party’s secretary Ganesh Shah.
A formal decision to this effect will be taken during Sunday’s Office Bearers’ meeting of the party, he said.
The lower House of Parliament – House of Representatives – has been summoned for a session on March 13.
According to Nepalese media, the new coalition has enough seats in the 275-member Parliament.
After the change in power equation and withdrawal of support to the government by the Nepali Congress, the largest party in the Lower House, it has become mandatory for Prachanda to seek a vote of confidence within 30 days to prove his majority.
This will be the third vote of confidence since Prachanda became Prime Minister one and a half years ago.
The election for the post of the Chairman of the upper House of Parliament has been scheduled for March 12, according to The Kathmandu Post newspaper.
Prachanda became the prime minister for the third term with the support of the Nepali Congress on December 25, 2022. His party is the third-largest group in the House of Representatives.
After breaking the alliance with the Nepali Congress -the largest party in the House of Representatives- Prachanda joined hands with Oli, who was regarded as Prachanda’s top critic.
Last year, Prachanda faced a floor test after the CPN-UML withdrew its support to the Prachanda-led government following a rift over backing the main opposition party’s candidate for the presidential poll.
The CPN-UML secured 78 seats, followed by the Maoist Centre, which got 32 seats. The RSP, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Janata Samajwadi Party and CPN-Unified Socialist won 20, 14, 12 and 10 seats respectively.
In the 2017 election, Prachanda and Oli merged their parties and secured a comfortable majority. Oli became the prime minister, but their partnership ended halfway following differences between them. (PTI)

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