07/14/2016, 15.59
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Government crisis in Nepal after Maoists withdraw support

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will appear before Parliament to see if he still has the numbers to govern. Former prime minister and Maoist leader Prachanda is touted to replace him. Since the advent of democracy, Nepal has had frequent changes in government. This crisis is due to Maoists’ desire to protect their leaders from war crime investigations.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Maoist parties have withdrawn their support for the government of Communist Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and filed a no-confidence motion in parliament against the government.

Ostensibly, the reason for this is Oli’s failure to live up to the commitments he made, nine months into his mandate.

Others believe that Maoist parties might be trying to pre-empt probable indictments of their leaders, as a consequence of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing complaints from civil war victims.

Now the prime minister will have to see whether he still has the confidence of the house where he no longer has an absolute majority. Should he lose a no confidence vote, he would be forced to resign.

Yesterday, the Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist–Leninist–Maoist Centre) and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist) sent the prime minister letters indicating their decision to withdraw support. Oli did not hide his disappointment.

As many as 280 lawmakers from the three parties said that they would back a no-confidence motion proposed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, head of the Maoist Centre party, and Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.

In their letters, the three parties complain that the current government failed to manage the demands of the Madhese and Tharu minorities, whose months-long protests led to clashes on the border with India and India’s subsequent trade embargo.

The government’s former allies also slammed its post-2015 earthquake reconstruction efforts, which have been slowed down considerably by widespread corruption.

On 21 July, Prime Minister Oli must go before Parliament to seek its confidence. He needs 298 votes out of 595. He fails to obtain its support, he will have to resign and start a new phase of consultations between the parties.

Cabinet changes are frequent in Nepal. Since 1990, when a parliamentary system was put in place, Nepal has had 23 governments.

Prachanda, a former prime minister, is waiting in the wings. However, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is hearing evidence from the families who want justice for those who died during the country’s civil war (1995-2006), which might implicate him.

Maoist parties had previously threatened to withdraw their support from the government if their leaders were formally indicted.

In an attempt to avert the collapse of the government, the prime minister had signed an amnesty for war crimes.

Various experts spoke to AsiaNews about Oli’s capitulation to the Maoists and the victims, whose families are still seeking justice after ten years.

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