Nepal prime minister loses confidence vote in parliament

Kathmandu, May 10 (EFE).- Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli lost a confidence vote in parliament on Monday, throwing the country into a political crisis amid a dangerous surge of coronavirus infection.

Of the 232 lawmakers present in the lower house, 124 voted against Oli and 93 against him, parliament speaker Agni Sapkota said.

Fifteen stayed neutral.

“As the votes cast in favor of the motion fell short to achieve a majority of the existing strength of the House of Representatives, I hereby declare that the prime minister’s motion to seek a vote of confidence has been rejected,” Sapkota said.

Oli needed 136 votes to win the trust vote in the 271-strong House of Representatives.

Lawmakers from the Madhav Nepal-Jhala Nath Khanal faction of Oli’s party abstained.

The Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), which have 61 and 49 members, respectively, voted against Oli’s trust motion.

The Janata Samajbadi Party, which has 32 votes, however, was divided.

The next meeting of the house is on Thursday.

Oli had last week announced that he would go for a floor test, two months after Nepal’s apex court invalidated the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and revived the UML and the Maoist Centre to their pre-merger stage of May 2018.

Oli was elected prime minister in February 2018 with the support of the Maoist Centre.

The Himalayan nation has plunged into a political crisis amid a looming health scare over the dangerous second wave of Covid-19.

Nepal has continuously reported an average of 9,000 infections a day.

The total caseload stands at 403,794, with 3,859 deaths. EFE


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