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Nepal’s new PM for friendly relations with all neighbouring countries

(TibetanReview.net, Jul19’21) – After an unabashedly pro-China, sometimes trenchantly anti-India KP Sharma Oli, Nepal’s parliament has on Jul 18 confirmed a new Prime Minister who has promised friendly relations with all neighbouring countries.

The day saw Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba securing a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives. His Nepali Congress was joined by most other parties — including a section of the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) — in supporting the vote of confidence motion tabled in the House on the first day that it convened after it was reinstated by the Supreme Court, reported the indianexpress.com Jul 19.

The report said a total of 165 members voted in support of Deuba, with just 83, mostly loyalists of CPN-UML headed by outgoing prime minister K P Sharma Oli casting their votes against.

The report said members of CPN-UML maintained that Oli was right to dissolve the House and call new elections, and criticised the Supreme Court judgment. But Dueba’s supporters, including senior leaders from multiple parties, have accused Oli of being dictatorial in having twice dissolved the House. Oli was also reportedly criticised for what opponents say was an excessive use of ordinances.

Following his win, Deuba has said his government’s priority was to ensure Covid-19 vaccine supply, and to keep friendly relations with all neighbouring countries.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre, has said Oli was an “autocrat” who had failed to act as per the spirit of the peace process and the Constitution. He has accused President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Oli of systematically going against the Constitution.

“Bhandari did not act fairly and as per the letter and spirit of the Constitution when she denied Deuba the right to be invited to form the government after he had submitted support of 149 members of the House… on May 22.”

Bhandari chose to dismiss the House on Oli’s recommendation and appointed the same person who had lost the mandate as the prime minister again, Prachanda has said. He was referring to the fact that Oli had lost a vote of confidence in the House days before the House was dissolved.

Oli was ousted as the prime minister following a unanimous verdict of a five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court on Jul 12. The Bench ruled that the dissolved House be reinstated and that Deuba be appointed prime minister based on the letter of support that he had submitted to the President, the report said.

China went to great lengths to keep the communists of Nepal united and in government, with its Kathmandu ambassador holding a series of meetings with the rival faction leaders and even sending in a national delegation for the purpose; but it all came to a naught.

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