As five-party ruling alliance breaks, Prachanda seeks Oli’s support to become Nepal PM


KATHMANDU: Nepal’s ruling five-party alliance virtually broke on Sunday after Prime Minister and Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” failed to reach a power-sharing deal.

The talks held at the PM’s residence at Baluwatar failed after Prime Minister Deuba rejected Prachanda’s bid to become the Prime Minister in the first half of the five-year term, CPN-MC Secretary Ganesh Shah said.

Deuba and Prachanda had earlier reached a tacit understanding to lead the new government on a rotational basis.

During talks with Prachanda on Sunday morning, Nepali Congress had staked claim for both the key posts of President and Prime Minister, which Prachanda had rejected resulting in failure of the talks, Maoist sources said.

The NC offered the post of Speaker to the Maoist Party, which was rejected by Prachanda.

“Now the alliance has broken as the last-minute talk between Deuba and Prachanda failed to strike a deal,” Shah told PTI.

As talks with Prime Minister Deuba failed, Prachanda reached the private residence of CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli to seek his support to become the Prime Minister, according to party sources.

Talks are underway at the residence of former prime minister Oli at Balkot.

Nepali Congress is the largest party with 89 seats in the House of Representatives while CPN-UML and CPN-MC have 78 and 32 seats, respectively.

Besides Prachanda, Janata Samajwadi Party president Upendra Yadav, Rastriya Prajatantra Party president Rrajendra Lingden and Rastriya Swatantra Party President Ravi Lamichhane have also reached Oli’s residence to attend the joint meeting.

After agreeing on the distribution of power and important posts, these parties are likely to reach the President’s Office to stake their claim to form a new government, sources said.

According to a senior leader of the CPN-MC, the formation of the new government by Sunday is unlikely and parties may need more time for negotiations to strike a deal for power sharing.

No party in the 275-member House of Representatives has 138 seats required to form a government.

The deadline given by President Bidya Bhandari to political parties to form a coalition government under Article 76(2) of the constitution, is expiring on Sunday evening.

If the parties fail to meet the deadline, the President will either extend the deadline if political parties make a request or she will call for the largest party to form a government under Article 76 (3) of the constitution.

In such a situation the Prime Minister should prove majority in the HoR within 30 days.

The newly-formed Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) has 20 seats, Rastriya Prajatantra Party 14, Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) 12 and Janamat Party six seats.

CPN (Unified Socialist) has 10 seats, Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (LSP) has four, and Nagarik Unmukti Party has three seats.

Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party have one seat each.

There are five independent members in the Lower House.

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