Oli re-appointed Nepal’s prime minister after losing confidence vote

Kathmandu, May 14 (EFE).- Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, who was removed from office after losing a vote of confidence this week, was renominated as prime minister of Nepal Friday.

The sixty-nine-year-old, commonly known as K.P. Sharma Oli, was sworn in by President Bidya Devi Bhandari, after the opposition failed to gather enough support for a majority government by the deadline of Thursday evening.

This is the third time the leader has been sworn in as prime minister, following a brief stint between October 2015 and August 2016 and after winning elections under the country’s new constitution in February 2018.

Although this is a victory for Oli, the institutional crisis gripping the Himalayan country is far from over. He now has to secure a vote of confidence within 30 days, counsel and director of the Constitutional Lawyers Forum, Raju Chapagain, told Efe. If he loses, the country will have to call new presidential elections, he added.

On December 20 last year, Oli created political chaos when he asked President Bhandari to dissolve his parliament after falling out with members of his own party. The crisis was triggered by a factional dispute within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which was born out of a merger between Oli’s CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center) of former Maoist commander Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

However, his attempt to dissolve parliament and call snap elections was overturned by the Supreme Court, which said it was unconstitutional.

The CPN (Maoist Center) withdrew its support for Oli on May 5, forcing the prime minister to seek a vote of confidence which he lost.

This latest political turmoil in Nepal comes as the Himalayan country reels from the coronavirus pandemic. Nepal’s health system has already cracked amid the rising number of cases.

Nepal on Thursday reported 8,842 new coronavirus infections. The Health Ministry reported 214 new deaths. Health experts have warned that the situation could worsen further.

Hari Roka, a political economist, told Efe that Nepali politicians have indulged in dirty political games in the midst of a pandemic, which has been infecting thousands and killing hundreds of people every day. “Nepal has seen an erosion in the morality of politicians,” he added. EFE

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