Hikmat Karki took an oath of office and secrecy

NL Today

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Koshi: The newly appointed Chief Minister of Koshi Province, Hikmat Karki of the CPN-UML, took an oath of office and secrecy on Thursday. Karki was appointed as the chief minister of Koshi Province on Thursday.

Province Head Parshuram Khapung appointed Karki after the UML leader staked his claim to the post with the support of 52 lawmakers earlier on Thursday. The support of 47 lawmakers is needed for a majority to form the government in the 93-strong assembly.

In a notice on Wednesday evening, the province head asked lawmakers from the provincial assembly who could secure a majority in the assembly to present their claim for the chief ministerial position by Friday 5pm.

This will be Karki’s third stint as chief minister in 17 months.

On January 8, 2023, Province Head Khapung appointed Karki as the chief minister of the province as per Article 168(2) of the constitution after he laid claim to the post with the support of 60 members. He lost his position after failing to secure the vote of confidence during the floor test in the provincial assembly on June 30 of the same year.

Karki was appointed chief minister for the second time on September 8 following a Supreme Court’s order. He then resigned on October 7 without facing a floor test at the provincial assembly.

The province head made the announcement on Thursday evening, hours after lawmakers from the UML and the Maoist Center requested that he to initiate the process of forming a new government.

On April 8, both the UML and the Maoist Center withdrew their support for the Karki government.

Subsequently, on April 19, the special session of the provincial assembly passed a resolution instructing the chief minister to seek a vote of confidence within 30 days of losing the majority or resigning from the post. The deadline expired on Tuesday.

Article 188(2) of the constitution also states that the chief minister needs to take a vote of confidence within 30 days if the coalition partners withdraw their support. However, the outgoing Chief Minister Kedar Karki remained steadfast in his refusal to either seek a floor test or resign, thereby complicating the provincial government’s position.

The outgoing chief minister is preparing to move the Supreme Court, arguing that the call for a new government formation was unconstitutional.