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Impact of Prime Minister Dahal’s Vote of Confidence

After a brief period of instability for the past three months from December onwards when Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had formed a coalition with CPN UML to form a government which was seen as unstable due to mistrust in relations between the two sides there is hope for the political order in Nepal.

This comes about as Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal won a vote of confidence for the second time with three months but from a different group of coalition parties.

On March 20th, Mr Dahal secured a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives receiving 172 votes in the 275-member parliament.

89 lawmakers voted against the motion while Prem Suwal, the lone lawmaker from the Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party stayed neutral.

Mr Dahal required at least 138 votes to win the trust motion and received 172 thus way above the minimum required.

In the previous consensus vote on January 10, Dahal had received 268 votes then.

CPN (Maoist Centre), Nepali Congress, Rastriya Swatantra Party, Janata Samajbadi Party, CPN (Unieief Socialist), Janamat Party, LoktantrikSamajbadi Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party, three independent lawmkaers and the Rastriya Janamorcha voted for Prime Minister Dahal.

UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party–voted against Dahal.

While critics have lambasted Mr Dahal for opportunism by switching sides and the slightest opportunity, it is apparent that the current coalition has a better chance of success particularly with an agreement by the three parties – CPN Maoist, Nepali Congress and the Unified Socialist to share the seat of the Prime Minister for one and a half each.

As each side is expected to stick to this norm unlike the CPN UML in the past while governance may be impacted but political stability is reasonably assured.

The moot question is sustainable governance through a common minimum programme by the main parties in the coalition.

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