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Fragile coalition

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Prime Minister KP Oli and Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa brief the international community about Nepal’s present political situation. Photo: Ananda Ram Dangol

A week after surviving a ‘coup’ by the opposition Nepali Congress, a plot widely believed to have been hatched in New Delhi, Prime Minister K P Oli told diplomats in Kathmandu on Wednesday that his government is not in crisis, and will be replaced only when a new parliament is elected in 2018.

This contradicts the assurance Oli apparently gave Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal that he would step down after the budget. This means not everything is hunky dory in the ruling coalition, and the NC is waiting for the right opportunity to strike again.

Dahal is under pressure from his party’s ministers in government, and is not publicly pressing for regime change, but he faces counter pressures from other comrades who are not ministers to unseat Oli. The leaders of breakaway Maoist factions, who are finalising a deal with Dahal to rejoin the main party, also want a new government so they can claim a share.

Rajan Bhattarai, one of Oli’s trusted aides, denied there was a secret last week to make Dahal PM. “Dahal backed off not because Oli promised him prime ministership but because he realised it was not possible to forge a ruling coalition with the NC and Madhesi parties,” he said.

But sources say it was initially mentioned in the UML-Maoist deal that Oli would resign and back Dahal to become the new PM after the budget. But Oli argued that people would not believe in his government’s policies and programs after such a deal, and both sides agreed to reword this sentence. They instead wrote that a government of national unity would be formed to implement the constitution.

To make things murkier, Maoist leader Janardan Sharma told us:  “Forget the wording, the spirit of the very first line of the deal is to form a new government under our party’s leadership.”

New Delhi appears determined to break the communist coalition which it believes was masterminded by Beijing. Former Indian ambassador KV Rajan is learnt to have secretly met UML leaders, including Madhav Nepal, to break the UML-Maoist partnership. Oli is convinced India wants him out and in retaliation cancelled President Bidya Bhandari’s visit to India and recalled Nepal’s ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay.

One of President Bhandari’s advisors told us: “Had the President’s visit not been cancelled, the Baluwatar-Shital Niwas relation could have gone sour. And this was what New Delhi wanted.”



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One Response to “Fragile coalition”

  1. Ravi Raj Kaur on Says:

    Look at Brazil, coups are fashionable. This coalition is nepalese stable. Enjoy. It is not about government rebuilding, they lacked confidence or have too much. What about jobs and rebuilding? Stability is good, the eoncomy needs clear measures in sustainable development and usually cooperation is good, renovating airports is good, resolving troubles in Terai and Madhesis for once.
    Most people did not know about the Constitution before it was celebrated. But they danced and got drunk. People are not stupid, a solution for mashes is more important than ego. And previous governments commission made the write up. Why pursue inequality in the 21 century? think about clean air in Kathmandu and things for the future. Give the people new micros and buses, prohibit old cars, something content level than just Baburam and the same old people. Disgusted with politics.

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