Will Nepali Congress be able to form a coalition government?

Nishan Khatiwada

  • Read Time 3 min.

Kathmandu: Though the Parliament’s arithmetic shows slim chances for the Nepali Congress forming a new government in alliance with other oppositions, many leaders of the party are confident that they will be able to make it.

K P Oli has now become a caretaker prime minister after losing the confidence of the House on Monday. Soon after that Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Center) and Yadav-Bhattarai faction of the Janata Samajwadi Party appealed to the President to make a call for forming a majority government as per the provisions of Article 76 (2) of the constitution. On the same day, President Bidya Devi Bhandari appealed to the House member who can garner the majority with the support from two or more parties to claim for the position of prime minister within May 13.

According to Article 76 (2), opposition parties have to gain a majority collectively to form an alternative government in case there is no single party majority in the House of Representatives. The main opposition Nepali Congress has been leading the process to form the government. President Sher Bahadur Deuba had called an opposition parties’ meeting for 2 pm on Tuesday at his residence in Budhanilkantha. Apart from Maoist Center and JSPN, he had also called the Madhav Nepal faction of the CPN-UML for the meeting. But the meeting got canceled due to an internal dispute within JSPN.

Chances for the formation of a majority government are getting slimmer.

If Monday’s floor test result is any guide, the opposition has 124 seats, short only of 12 seats to form the government. The Thakur-Mahato faction of the JSPN has already denied joining the opposition coalition and condemned the act of the Yadav-Bhattarai faction to appeal to President for forming a majority government. Madhav Nepal faction of the UML, having 28 seats, is still undecided.

In other words, chances for the formation of a majority government are getting slimmer and probability of K P Oli being reappointed as the PM is getting higher.

However, most of the Nepali Congress leaders are confident that they will garner the required majority seats. Prakash Man Singh, a prominent Nepali Congress leader, believes JSPN can be brought onboard the alliance. “I am hopeful that if we sincerely talk with the Mahato-Thakur faction of the JSPN and proceed to fulfill their demands improving and amending the flaws in the constitution, we can gain the majority to form a government,” he said. He stated that the party is working out and holding meetings for the purpose.

Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, another NC leader, sees the clear possibility of garnering the majority to form a new government. “Nepali Congress is putting its efforts into gaining the majority,” he said.

Ramesh Lekhak said in a recent TV interview that two-thirds of the House is not in Oli’s support. “We can form a new government from the 65% who did not vote for KP Oli. This is not the issue of Nepali Congress, but a common issue of the two-thirds,” he added.

However, some other leaders inside the Nepali Congress are not sure about the formation of the new government any time soon. Dhanraj Gurung thinks that the new government may not be formed and Oli might continue to remain the PM. Meanwhile, he also hinted that forming a new government at this time could prove to be a step toward appeasing foreign powers.

“The foreign powers want to play in the instability of Nepali politics. All these happenings are under the influence of foreign powers. Congress can come back to power by serving the people, it’s not necessary to serve invisible power,” he said.