Nepal prime minister quits
NEPAL’S K P Sharma Oli resigned as prime minister on July 24, minutes before facing a no-confidence motion in parliament he was certain to lose, plunging the impoverished, quake-hit nation into fresh turmoil.
Mr Oli was forced to quit after former Maoist rebels deserted his fractious ruling coalition, accusing him of reneging on past deals and following deadly unrest over a divisive new constitution.
“I have decided to open the road to elect a new prime minister in this parliament and presented my resignation to the president,” Mr Oli, who had only been in power for nine months, told lawmakers ahead of the no-confidence vote.
The president is now expected to ask political parties to try to form a new power-sharing government and nominate a candidate for prime minister.
Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal could become the new prime minister after the former rebels and main opposition Nepali Congress party said before the vote that they would try to form a new administration if Mr Oli lost.
The current cabinet would continue until a new government was formed, a process expected to take at least a week.
Mr Dahal, the first prime minister after the Maoist insurgency ended in 2006, pulled his party from Mr Oli’s coalition two weeks ago, leaving it without a majority.
The embattled prime minister accused the Maoists of undermining his government, which he said was working to rebuild the country after a devastating earthquake last year.
“I am concerned that the steps taken were driven by selfishness and revenge [and they] will cause a longterm negative impact and push the country to instability,” he said.
Mr Oli’s resignation is the latest crisis to hit Nepal which has suffered from years of political instability and struggled to get back on its feet since last April’s quake, which claimed almost 9000 lives.
Nepal’s caretaker Prime Minister K P Oli Sharma (right) shakes hands with Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Kathmandu on July 24.