KATHMANDU: Nepal’s new Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is set to face a vote of confidence in the reinstated lower House of Parliament on Sunday, according to media reports.
Deuba, 75, the Nepali Congress president, took the oath of office and secrecy on July 13, a day after a five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives for the second time in five months.
The lower house was unconstitutionally dissolved by President Bidya Devi Bhandari for the second time in five months on May 22 at the recommendation of then Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.
The first meeting of the restored House will be held at 4 pm local time Sunday at the Federal Parliament Building, New Baneshwar.
The President had summoned the meeting of both the Houses of the Parliament on Sunday.
Government spokesperson and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Gyanendra Karki registered the trust motion at the Federal Parliament Secretariat, myrepublica.com reported.
“A proposal for the vote of trust has already been registered in the Parliament Secretariat,” said Shreedhar Neupane, a press advisor of Speaker Agni Sapkota, told The Kathmandu Post.
“The prime minister will go for a floor test in the second meeting of the House of Representatives today (Sunday),” he said.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP’s) Upendra Yadav faction have decided to vote in Deuba’s favour during the vote of confidence.
Former Prime Minister and senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) Jhalanath Khanal, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in New Delhi, has issued a statement, asking his party’s lawmakers to vote in favour of Deuba.
In the 275-member House, where 271 votes will be counted, Deuba must garner at least 136 votes to win Parliament’s confidence.
A failure to win the vote of confidence will lead to the dissolution of the House, and elections will be held within six months.
In the lower house of Parliament, the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) has 61 members while its coalition partner CPN (Maoist Center) has 48 members, excluding Speaker Sapkota.
The main Opposition CPN-UML, which is Oli’s party, has 121 members in the lower house, the JSP has 32 members and the other three fringe parties have a member each. There is an independent lawmaker as well.
A total of 26 lawmakers belonging to the UML, who are close to Madhav Nepal, had backed Deuba when he staked a claim for premiership under Article 76(5) of the Constitution.
Deuba, who was appointed as the prime minister as per Article 76(5) with the backing of UML’s Nepal faction and JSP’s Yadav faction, will have to be supported by these factions to win the confidence vote.