Home Asia KP Sharma Oli Back as Nepal’s Prime Minister

KP Sharma Oli Back as Nepal’s Prime Minister

Nepal’s former Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli was reappointed as PM after the opposition parties failed to form a government. He took oath for the third time as PM of Nepal on May 14.

President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to KP Sharma Oli at a ceremony at Shital Niwas.

Mr Oli, leader of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) had lost the vote of confidence a few days ago on May 10. After taking oath today, he will have to take a vote of confidence of the House within 30 days. If he fails to secure a majority again, then he can recommend the President to dissolve the parliament. General elections will be conducted within the next six months to form a new government.

Nepal is facing a continuous political crisis since the last few months. In Dec 2020, President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved Nepal’s Parliament on recommendation of Mr Oli who was PM. Fresh elections were scheduled on April 30 and May 10. However, in February 2020, the Supreme Court of Nepal reinstated the House citing insufficient grounds to dissolve the House of Representatives.

The Nepal Communist Party (NCP) was the ruling party of Nepal with Mr Oli as PM. The party which was formed in 2018 with the merger of CPN-UML and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), split in 2021 after a verdict of Nepal’s Supreme Court declaring 2018 merger void ab initio.

Mr Oli had dissolved the House of Representatives in Dec 2020 due to internal conflicts within the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). As per Kathmandu Post, Mr Oli had said he was forced to take such drastic action because the internal conflict in his party, NCP, created “obstacles for him to govern.” The opposition and several leaders within NCP had criticised the decision and called it unconstitutional.

The power struggle between Mr Oli and co-chairman of former NCP Pushpa Kamal Dahal was at peak when Mr Dahal accused Mr Oli for being “individualistic”, turning bling eye to corruption, and not following party manifesto.

In February 2021, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal led faction had organised nationwide protests against the dissolution of government.

China had sent a delegation to sort out the situation in Nepal and find a solution to factional tensions in the NCP. Chinese envoy Hou Yanqi held a string of meetings with leaders of NCP.

After Mr Oli’s decision to dissolve the House, India had said it was an “internal” matter of Nepal. Then spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs India Anurag Srivastava had said, “We have noted the recent political developments in Nepal. These are internal matters for Nepal to decide as per its democratic processes.”

India and Nepal share a long history of social, cultural, and political ties. However, India’s relations with Nepal have been through some ups and downs in recent times. In 2020, Nepal published a new political map of Nepal which included disputed land between India and Nepal as part of Nepal. This disputed land includes Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani. This move caused a significant furore in India. This area is strategically important for India and India has established a security post in the Kalapani area since 1962 Indo-China war.