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Another Layer of Political Instability in Nepal

As if the issues related to ratification of the MCC agreement with the United States and local elections were not enough the ruling alliance in Nepal led by the Nepali Congress, the Maoist Centre and the CPN Socialist registered an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana.

This has support of about 100 members of the coalition in the parliament which will not be enough to pass the bill if pushed through.

It is not clear if this is a compromise that has been made to ensure that the MCC is also tabled within the coalition but the impeachment will not be supported by the main opposition party the CPN UML as Chairman K P Oli decided to strongly 'retaliate' the decision of the ruling alliance.

The CPN UML government fell after the present coalition stitched together a compromise. The UML claimed that the government has “hatched against judiciary and country's democracy and bringing controlled instability in the country”.

Earlier Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has taken the leap by announcing the local elections for May 13 and tabling of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) an agreement for assistance by the United States in the parliament on February 09.

This could be a make or break moment for the Deuba led coalition as the other main parties in the coalition – the Maoist Communist Centre and the CPN Socialist are not in favour of ratification of the MCC in the present form.

What may have led Mr Deuba to force the agreement in the parliament is a letter from the MCC HQ in the United States that in case there is no ratification by February 28, the agreement is likely to be terminated.

“Absent ratification, it is within the MCC Board’s authority to discontinue Nepal’s eligibility to receive the $500 million compact grant from the United States,” said the MCC letter.

Meanwhile wary of lack of support by his alliance partners, Prime Minister Deuba has reached out to chairman of the main opposition party the CPN-UML, Mr K P Sharma Oli.

More over, a leak of a letter by the Kathmandu Post on February 06 written jointly by Deuba and Dahal on September 29 last year seeking four-five months extension for ratification to build consensus among coalition partners has strengthened Mr Deuba’s hand as Mr Dahal has been throughout claiming that he was not in favour of the ratification.

Never the less given these developments will the coalition last the ratification and how will this impact the local elections set for May 13 now remains to be seen with the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice added to the layers of instability?

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