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Friday June 14, 2024

Amid opposition protests, Nepal PM wins parliamentary vote of confidence

By Reuters
May 21, 2024
Nepals Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, delivers a speech before a confidence vote at the parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal January 10, 2023. — Reuters
Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, delivers a speech before a confidence vote at the parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal January 10, 2023. — Reuters

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s prime minister won a parliamentary vote of confidence on Monday amid protests by the opposition demanding a parliamentary probe into allegations that his home minister illegally took money from several companies before he entered politics.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a former Maoist rebel chief in the Himalayan nation sandwiched between China and India, formed a coalition cabinet in March with the support of the liberal Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party and several smaller parties.

A fresh vote of confidence became necessary after a junior partner in the coalition withdrew support following differences with the leader. The main opposition Nepali Congress said Dahal must set up a parliamentary panel to probe allegations that Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the home ministry, Rabi Lamichhane, illegally took large amounts of money from a number of cooperative companies, which are formed and run by small group of people, when he was a television show presenter before joining politics.

Parliament Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire said Dahal won 157 votes, exceeding the minimum 138 required, in the 275-member parliament in Monday’s voting in which the entire opposition - except one member - did not participate.

“As the number is the majority of all members of parliament, I declare the motion of confidence tabled by the prime minister as passed,” Ghimire told the parliament as the opposition Nepali Congress party protested and shouted slogans.