Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli lost a crucial trust vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, pushing the Himalayan nation into further political turmoil amidst a record surge in COVID-19 cases.
Oli, 69, lost the vote of confidence motion, days after the Nepal Communist Party Maoist Centre led by Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ withdrew its support, reducing the government to a minority.
Oli, who decided to seek the trust of the 275-member House on his government, managed to garner only 93 votes, which fell short of 43 votes to reach the 136-mark and win the vote of confidence during a special session of the lower house.
A total of 124 members voted against the confidence motion while 15 members stayed neutral, Speaker Agni Sapkota announced. The session was attended by 232 lawmakers.
“As the votes cast in favour of the motion fell short to achieve a majority of the existing strength of the House of Representatives, I hereby declare that the prime minister’s motion to seek a vote of confidence has been rejected,” Sapkota announced before adjourning the House.
With this, Prime Minister Oli is automatically relieved from his post as per Article 100 (3) of the Constitution.
Some 28 lawmakers belonging to Oli’s rival faction led by Madhav Nepal-Jhala Nath Khanal abstained during the voting.
The main Opposition Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), which control 61 and 49 votes, respectively, voted against Oli’s trust motion.
The Janata Samajbadi Party, which has 32 votes, however, was divided. The Mahantha Thakur-led faction stayed neutral while the Upendra Yadav-led group voted against Oli.
After losing the vote of confidence, the Prime Minister is automatically removed from his post and now the new coalition government will be formed as per the constitutional process, said senior Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh.