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Nepal: Oli refuses to quit as PM, Prachanda seeks consensus candidate


Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has signalled that he has no intention of resigning his post, a day after the country’s Supreme Court reversed his decision to dissolve Parliament.

Instead, Oli mocked his opponents — Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Madhav Kumar Nepal who jointly head a rival faction of the ruling Nepal Communist Party — for distributing sweets after the court verdict.

“What are they celebrating for? Maybe they will start demanding my resignation again,” Oli said, making it clear that he would not quit.

His rivals have, however, already begun exploring the formation of an alternative government, assuming that Oli’s exit is unavoidable.

Prachanda and Madhav Nepal had a meeting with Sher Bahadur Deuba, chairman of the Nepali Congress party and leader of the Opposition, with a proposal to form the government jointly.

It is not yet clear whether they proposed to support Deuba as the new prime minister, but they made it clear that Prachanda would not be in the race for the post. This is seen as an indication by the leaders of the rival NCP faction that they were ready to support a consensus candidate to oust Oli.

The unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court’s five-member constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, while reinstating the dissolved House of Representatives, had also directed that the House be convened within 13 days — by March 6.

Nepal Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali who had said earlier that Oli would lose moral ground to continue if the Supreme Court reinstated the House, changed his stance on Wednesday. “It will be not fair for a leader to run away leaving the country in uncertainty,” he said.

After the House resumes, Oli will have to face a no-trust motion that was registered with the Speaker’s office on December 19 which he rendered infructuous by dissolving the House a day later. The notice given by Prachanda with the signature of more than 90 members in a House of 273 had his name as the likely PM if Oli is replaced (mentioning the alternate PM is mandatory as per the Constitution). The party has, however, said Prachanda would withdraw his name in favour of a “joint” candidate.



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