Bumps ahead: Prachanda becomes Nepal’s PM but uncertainty looms

Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre (CPN-MC) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ appointed Nepal’s new Prime Minister

CHENNAI | Updated: 26 December, 2022 12:50 am IST
President Bidya Devi Bhandari of Nepal appointed Prachanda as the Prime Minister of Nepal as per Article 76 of Nepalese constitution

As Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ assumed the Prime minister’s office for the third term on Sunday, uncertainty looms large in New Delhi as well as in Nepal.

Prachanda’s election might not bode well for India as his coalition partner will be the former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli-led Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist and other political parties.

Oli previously had many run-ins with India over territorial issues. Oli, like Prachanda, has a close relationship with China.

While New Delhi will keep a close eye on developments in its neighbourhood, a cloud of uncertainty will also hang over Nepal as the public awaits political developments with bated breath.

Nepal had all the reason to worry after the hung parliament as Prachanda unseated Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was the prime minister until Sunday, to cobble up a seemingly unstable coalition with Oli.

The move was necessitated because, after failing an internal negotiation with Congress, the Maoist leader drifted apart from the coalition with Congress and held talks with Oli and other parties on Sunday.

Prachanda, who was the PM in 2008 and 2016, finally managed to occupy the office for the third time after cutting a deal with Oli that will see him vacating the office two and a half years later for Oli to take over.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari of Nepal appointed Prachanda as the Prime Minister of Nepal as per Article 76 of the Nepalese Constitution. Sources told The New Indian that Prachanda’s swearing-in ceremony will take place on Monday at 4 pm local time.

“Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s term is going to witness a lot of turbulence given its fragile coalition of six parties,” Santosh Ghimire, a Kathmandu-based political and foreign affairs commentator, told The New Indian.

Ghimire is not of the opinion that China in any way influenced Sunday’s development in the Himalayan heartland. Speaking to The New Indian on maintaining equilibrium with India and China, Ghimire said Dahal would maintain good ties with India.

Dahal has received the support of 168 other parliamentarians in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Nepalese parliament that houses 275 members, as sources familiar with the development from Kathmandu confirmed to The New Indian.

Apart from the two main left parties of Nepal, the CPN-Maoist Centre and the CPN-UML, Janamat Party, the Janata Samajbadi Party, the Nagarik Unmukti Party, the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party, Rashtriya Swatantra Party and three independent parliamentarians extended their support to Dahal to be the Prime minister on Sunday.

CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre, RSP, RPP, NUP, Janamat Party and Janata Samajwadi Party will now forge a hung government under the aegis of Dahal, Nepali Congress, CPN-Unified Socialist, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party and Rashtriya Janamorcha will be in opposition.

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