top of page

Despite a rotational PM, Nepal may see political stability

Former vice president of the Nepali Congress (NC) Bimalendra Nidhi has said that after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Madhav Nepal and then Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba will become the prime minister as per the latest agreement that has been made by the eight party coalition.

PM Dahal will lead the government in the first phase, Madhav Nepal in the second phase and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba will lead it in the third phase.

Coalition governments in Nepal have had the challenge of turnover of the Prime Ministership the most coveted post in the country.

Frequently the post is rotated between two coalition partners but this time around there appears to be an agreement that three top leaders of the coalition will be holding the post. Significantly CPN Maoist and CPN Unified Socialist are the junior partners in the coalition with 32 seats in the House of Representatives and the last named party led by Madhav Kumar Nepal only 10 seats, yet the Nepali Congress appears to have agreed to have these leaders lead the government.

Nepali Congress has the largest number of seats at 89 and is followed by what will be the main opposition party the CPN UML with 78 seats.

The Nepali Congress is making a compromise to ensure that the CPN UML is denied power.

Veteran Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel has been elected the President.

On its own the Congress cannot form a government with the requirement of 138 seats for majority.

In the last election, the Nepali Congress (NC) secured 89 seats (32 percent of total seats), the CPN-UML got 78 seats (28.36 percent) and the third largest party, the CPN (Maoist Centre) got 32 seats (11.63 percent) in the House of Representatives. But the third largest party is leading the government. This is because Dahal knows that the leaders of the first and the second largest parties can neither form alliances themselves nor can they form their own government without support from the Maoists and some other fringe parties.

In such a situation, it was easier for Dahal to float his own candidature for premiership and bargain with the NC and the UML to accept his leadership. First, he approached the NC for forming a government under his leadership, only to find the largest party reluctant. Then he approached the UML, which accepted the idea. But then Dahal found relying solely on the UML support for his government not a very good idea, so he sought and got the support of the NC in the vote of confidence. Dahal courting the NC made the UML suspicious. As anticipated, Dahal ditched the Maoists’ alliance with the UML by supporting the Congress candidate in the presidential election. This was perhaps meant to maintain a balance of power in the parliament, given that the UML has already bagged the position of Speaker. Dahal perhaps hopes to be able to serve a full term by managing to keep the current ruling coalition intact.

Why Stability?

Despite the rotation of prime ministers, however we anticipate that there will be political stability in the country as the three parties who are major components of this coalition led by the Nepali Congress have interest in continuance in government.

On the other hand CPN UML led by KP Sharma Oli is not trusted by other parties as Mr Oli is known for his domineering attitude.

Interestingly while China may have been exasperated by the development, Beijing is unlikely to be able to destabilise the government. On the other hand India and the United States could be seen to support the new coalition which has been formed just days after the previous one which had enthralled China being a communist – socialist alliance with CPN UML and Maoist CPN Centre in power.


bottom of page